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Ipswich Town 0 v 0 Bolton Wanderers
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 22nd September 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Town Face Bolton Still Searching for Elusive First Win
Friday, 21st Sep 2018 11:23

Town face Bolton Wanderers at Portman Road on Saturday still looking for their first win of the season with manager Paul Hurst believing that they have something to build on following Tuesday’s second half display against Brentford.

The Blues were thoroughly outplayed by the high-flying Bees in the first period and were fortunate to be only a goal behind at the break.

However, after a formation switch from 3-5-2 back to their more regular 4-2-3-1, the Blues were a different prospect in the second half with Kayden Jackson’s first Championship goal securing a 1-1 draw.

Despite still sitting at the bottom of the table on four points, Town remain unbeaten at home with all their matches having ended in draws and Hurst believes there have been pluses in all four of the Blues’ displays at Portman Road this season.

“I think all our home games have had a positive element to them, albeit they’ve been draws,” he said.

“Whether it’s a great start against Blackburn and a great ending, then a very impressive performance with 10 men against Aston Villa.

“The Norwich game, a derby, and although we were pegged back in that, I think everyone felt we were slightly the better team.

“And then the other night, a game of two halves in terms of the scoreline, but I have watched it back and maybe I was a little bit harsh on the first-half performance in truth, albeit people will say that the second half was miles better; we scored, we won that one 1-0.

“It was interesting watching and we always prefer it that way if it is going to be a draw, that [we’re] the ones that finish it [more strongly] and we had the chance with Kayden to have possibly won it against a very, very good team.”

Bolton, who are 15th, made a strong start to the season but are now without a win in four, three defeats and one draw, having lost 2-0 at Middlesbrough on Wednesday.

Hurst says the game against the Trotters, who have picked up most of their 11 points on the road having won two and drawn one in addition to the loss at Boro, will present its own challenges.

“Every game is different,” he added. “I think someone said to me after Tuesday’s game that four points from the week would be great.

“While I don’t disagree with that, there’s a lot of hard work needed to go in to make that happen and we certainly won’t be disrespectful to Bolton in any shape or form.

“We have to put a lot of thought and effort into the game and hopefully add some quality along the way if we are to get that victory and make it four points.

“They’ve got some very experienced players in there and have made a pretty good start to the season. I think they’ll be happy overall with the start that they’ve had.”

The strong opening few games was in contrast to the bookies’ pre-season view that Bolton were one of the division’s relegation favourites having escaped relegation by one place and two points in 2017/18, while off the field the campaign has started chaotically with administration staved off at the last earlier this month.

“I think it was the last day of the season they stayed up,” Hurst continued. “There have obviously been some issues at the football club but knowing Phil Parkinson, [his assistant] Steve Parkin and the staff there, they won’t allow the players to let that influence how they go about their business and do their job.

“They’ve always been difficult teams to play against, so I don’t see that being any different on Saturday.”

Hurst admits the Blues’ search for that first win hasn’t been helped by an inability to keep a clean sheet so far this season.

“I think the other night would have been a big ask given the way that Brentford have been going,” he reflected.

“The header we conceded, it doesn’t look much but it’s a great header from a player [Neal Maupay] bang in form and top of the goalscoring charts.

“That clean sheet is proving elusive, along with a victory. If we could put both together that would make for a happy manager.”

Hurst seems likely to stick with the team and system which impressed in the second half against the Bees.

That would see Dean Gerken continue in goal with Janoi Donacien at right-back, Jonas Knudsen on the left and skipper Luke Chambers and Matthew Pennington at the centre of the defence. Toto Nsiala is back after his three-game ban but seems likely to be on the bench.

In midfield, Cole Skuse and Trevoh Chalobah will be in the centre with Jon Nolan ahead of them and Gwion Edwards and Grant Ward starting on the right and left respectively.

Kayden Jackson will be the lone striker with one-time Trotter frontman Jon Walters again expected to miss out due to his achilles injury.

Bolton defender Jack Hobbs could be a concern having suffered a cut above his eye at Middlesbrough, while winger Sammy Ameobi is out with an ankle injury.

Earlier this week, right-back Stephen Darby was forced to retire having been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

The game is a second long trip in a few days for the Trotters but manager Phil Parkinson says that comes with the territory.

“We’re in this sport for the challenges it throws upon us,” Parkinson told The Bolton News.

“Big clubs in the Champions League are competing all around Europe midweek, flying back and then will be playing in the big high-profile Premier League games. They cope just fine.

“And we have got players who can come back in and freshen us up. I thought the energy levels were good at Middlesbrough, even though it was a disappointment to lose the game, and we’ll go again.”

Despite their match on Teesside the following day, Parkinson and chief scout Tim Breacker were at Portman Road for Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Brentford.

“We felt it was the right thing to do to go and take a look,” he added. “We felt we needed to get down there and get a feel for what the mood was like.

“We need to do everything we possibly can to prepare for the game but physically the players have also go to be up for it. They have to be in the right frame of mind.

“It’s a harsh league and Mick [McCarthy] did a great job down at Ipswich over the years. He was a difficult man to replace, that’s for sure.

“Ipswich are down the bottom but we have to make sure they are still there on Saturday night.”

Historically, the Blues just have the edge, having won 19 times (17 in the league), Bolton 13 (nine) and with 11 (10) games between the teams ending in draws.

Town are unbeaten in 10 against Bolton, winning six and drawing four. Their last defeat was a 3-1 reverse in the FA Cup at Portman Road in January 2005. Since that game the Blues have won all five of the matches the sides have played in Suffolk without conceding a goal, all in the Championship.

The Trotters’ last league win against the Blues was the 4-1 victory in Lancashire towards the end of 2001/02 which all but confirmed Town’s relegation from the Premier League. Earlier that season, they recorded their last league victory at Portman Road when they won 2-1.

In January, Joe Garner netted an equaliser in the 82nd minute as Town and Bolton drew 1-1 at the Macron Stadium, the first Blues league game to end in that scoreline for 34 matches. Earlier, Gary Madine had given the home side the lead on 53.

At Portman Road in September last year, second-half goals from Skuse - his first in 29 months and his most recent - and David McGoldrick saw Town to a 2-0 home victory over then-rock bottom Bolton.

After a first period in which chances were rare at either end, Skuse’s deflected strike - only his second goal in his four years at the club - put the Blues in front three minutes after the break, then McGoldrick added the second in the 89th minute.

Saturday’s referee is Stephen Martin from Staffordshire, who has shown 14 yellow cards and no red in six games so far this season.

Martin’s last Town match was the 2-2 draw with Millwall at Portman Road in April in which he booked Spence, Stephen Gleeson, Mustapha Carayol and Martyn Waghorn and no Lions.

He was also in control of the 1-1 draw at Barnsley in March last year when Skuse was shown the game’s only yellow card.

Two months earlier he had been in charge of the 1-1 draw at Preston in which he booked two home players and no Blues.

Martin also refereed the 1-0 defeat at Leeds in September 2016 in which he booked only Christophe Berra and Kevin Bru.

Before that Martin was the man in the middle of the 2-0 defeat at Brentford the previous month in which he yellow-carded Adam Webster.

Martin also officiated in the 1-0 home defeat to Rotherham in March that year, in which he booked Knudsen and one Miller.

He also took control of the 2-1 home victory over Fulham on the opening day of 2014/15 in which he cautioned Berra, Tyrone Mings and Luke Hyam.

Martin also refereed the 2-0 home victory over Brighton in September 2013, when he booked only one visiting player, and the 2-1 loss at Bristol City in the January of that year, in which he showed a single yellow card to one of the home side.

Squad from: Gerken, Bialkowski, Donacien, Spence, Knudsen, Kenlock, Chambers (c), Pennington, Skuse, Chalobah, Downes, Edun, Rowe, Edwards, Ward, Graham, Roberts, Nolan, Sears, Harrison, Jackson.

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itfchorry added 12:24 - Sep 21

rugbytomc added 12:36 - Sep 21
Maybe you were a bit harsh on the first half performance? Maybe you weren't harsh enough!! I don't think any town fan would stand for anything like that again - i was a bit shocked at the half time boos but they would be deafening if we saw the likes of that again.

gkroon89 added 12:46 - Sep 21
Personally think Brentford let us off and should have been out of sight for first half and think overall we were still poor. Nothing, but a win should do against Bolton. I feel that with 9 games in after the game and if there is still no victory then Hurst should be sacked. It is his team he has created and no other manager anywhere in this era would get away without a win in 9 games. Even at this stage there is a risk of the league starting to run away from us. I was for Hurst, but the writing is pretty much on the wall now unfortunately.

bobble added 13:02 - Sep 21

Cookycrew added 13:42 - Sep 21
Start to pick a settled side please. PH's chopping & changing of 4 or 5 players each game does nothing for our cause.

itfckal added 15:05 - Sep 21
Town 2-1 win

afcfee added 15:20 - Sep 21
0-0 ? No way we won't concede I'm afraid. I'm going to say 1-1 and hope I'm wrong.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 16:09 - Sep 21
I fear another draw, which won't do against Bolton. Hoping of course for a win. Agree we need a settled side. Can we put together a longer spell of decent play during match? Not sure we can. COYB!

stevelincsexile added 16:18 - Sep 21
Come on everyone the second half against Brentford was the tide turning 2-0 win I’m confident.COYB.

BobbyBell added 16:44 - Sep 21
An early goal is what we need so let's get at them early and if we score then the confidence will build and we'll start to play with less pressure.
Calls for the manager to be sacked after 9 games is just madness. After all we are just 9 points off the play off position. Later this season we may go 9 games without a loss, who knows? Deserved or not we could have won on Tuesday if Jackson had taken his chance. These players need a confidence boost and the backing of the supporters. I don't think we'll get anywhere near 6th spot but I'm not worried about the drop either.

shortmarine1969 added 17:04 - Sep 21
While i agree with the calls for patience and i am not saying get rid of Hurst...but... , just how far does it have to extend...10 games without a win maybe recoverable , keep going to 15 games ?? then maybe not and the specter of going down and not being able to recover from the 3rd tier of football is a real one..(who has real faith in ME to change ?) imo ..there has to be a crunch point that PH and the players are held to and unfortunately the games are ticking away. It,s concerning

RRanger added 17:20 - Sep 21
Last season Brentford won their first league match of the season at their 8th attempt against......Bolton. They finished up much higher in the table than us who started with 4 (or was it 5) wins. As other people have pointed out to the impatient moaners its a long season and there is still 38 games to go. We will not be relegation candidates come next April.

TimmyH added 17:39 - Sep 21
Their mentality is the same as us (particularly under MM) when we generally played a team in trouble who hadn't won in ages or were on a losing streak we generally obliged...

heathen66 added 18:33 - Sep 21
It was not necessarily the formation that was wrong on Tuesday, more the personnel.
Ward cannot play in the hole (Nolan Can)
Donacien is a RB, not Spence
Edwards should play all 46 games.
Harrison and Jackson had no service at all , however we changed it at HT provided service but took a striker off.
I am still 100% behind the new manager, but needs more consistency in his team selection.
Chalobah is also a star in the making and should be our only holding midfielder, made tackles, good movement and an assist.
Would still like to see 2 up top although expect to revert to 5 at the back to accomodate Chambers, Nsiala and Pennington, plus Nolan playing in the hole (no.10)

SohoBlue added 19:16 - Sep 21
JAckson’s header to equalise against Brentford was excellent. It’s given me hope that there is a finisher at this level in him. We just desperately need Huws’ creativity back and Walters fit to stand a good chance of hauling ourselves up the league.

BlueandTruesince82 added 19:55 - Sep 21
Play like we did 2nd half and I think we'll win

jas0999 added 20:00 - Sep 21
If we can’t beat Bolton at home then we may as well all give up!

tractorboybig added 20:05 - Sep 21
Harrison and Jackson are div one donkies with no more goals in them as they are out of their depth....where are the goals coming from is the question?

corkblue added 20:52 - Sep 21
Boston Utd, Grimsby Town & Shrewsbury do not add up to Championship ability!
The future looks very bleak indeed.

warktheline added 21:29 - Sep 21
Personally still feeling very numb and flat due to this weeks very sad news! A reflective few days has manifested into present day ‘resentment’ ! Hankering over ‘yesterday’s’ won’t achieve nowt, but I long for that ‘inspirational figure’ to come forth using this weeks events as a spring board to drive this once ‘glorious’ club back where it belongs....entertaining not just it’s ‘own’ but ‘neutrals’ watching from afar !!!!!!

RobITFC added 21:48 - Sep 21
The most important thing the manager and the team need is OUR support, so although the results are not forthcoming at the moment, there is no need for so much negativity... COYB

Skip73 added 22:06 - Sep 21
Is this going to be the headline before every game this season just with the team replaced? 'TOWN GO INTO _____ GAME STILL SEARCHING FOR ELUSIVE FIRST WIN'

shakytown added 02:19 - Sep 22
The players need to go into this game with a siege mentality .Win at all costs period. Anything but a win is not acceptable period. Relegation form is hard to get out of and the longer it goes the harder it gets. No more of this it's only been 9 games crap we are in serious trouble period and Hurst better sort it out quick or his former club will be taking our place in this division.

TimmyH added 10:44 - Sep 22
Expecting a win 2-1 for me...any result other than a win is not acceptable at this point.

itfcserbia added 12:08 - Sep 22
I feel like I should go around and slap some people with some facts - such as Sir Bobby Robson finished with us 18th and 19th in his first two seasons. Here we have a manager picked to lead the team for a few seasons at least hopefully, some 150 games say, and people want to sack him after 9? My goodness some people... I might go around and copy/paste this a lot mind you.

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