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Town Host Accrington For the First Time Aiming to Finally End Winless Run
Friday, 10th Jan 2020 15:29

Town host Accrington Stanley for the first time ever with the Blues looking to end a winless run which has seen them drop to fifth in League One.

Paul Lambert’s side last won in the league on November 5th at Rochdale and since then have gone eight league games without a victory, three defeats and five draws. In all competitions, they are without a win over 90 minutes in 12 matches.

At home the Blues’ form has been less than impressive all season with Town having won only three times in the league, while drawing five and losing two.

“It’s important that we get back to winning home and away,” Lambert said when asked about the home form issue.

“The away form’s been good and the home form’s not been so good, but we have to get back to winning games [wherever we are], that’s for sure. We have to get back to winning games.”

Town were last in action against Exeter in the Trophy last Saturday when they were beaten 2-1 by the League Two high-fliers and Lambert is likely to make changes from that team, perhaps to a side more like the one which drew 1-1 and probably deserved more against leaders Wycombe Wanderers on New Year’s Day.

Lambert has a decision to make about his goalkeeper with Norris having made an error on the Chairboys’ goal and Tomas Holy having looked confident against the Grecians.

With Janoi Donacien unlikely to be ready to return from his dead leg, the Blues will probably start with a three-man backline of Luke Woofenden, skipper Luke Chambers and James Wilson with Gwion Edwards and Luke Garbutt the wing-backs.

In midfield, Cole Skuse - or perhaps Andre Dozzell - and Flynn Downes will probably play behind Alan Judge with James Norwood and Kayden Jackson up front.

Teddy Bishop and Freddie Sears will both be looking to play a part from the bench having made their first starts of the season at Exeter.

Accrington boss John Coleman, whose 17th-placed team have lost just one of their last nine in all competitions, says the Blues have been unfortunate in some of their recent matches.

“Ipswich won’t underestimate us,” Coleman told the Stanley official website. “We believe when we go anywhere, we can win but they will be wanting to get their season back on track as they have not been on the best of runs of late.

“It will be tough, we know that, but we expect that. I have watched some of their recent games and luck has deserted them in a few of them but you have to battle through that and if you start putting in performances, the results will come.

“I have never been to Portman Road so I am looking forward to that, it’s one of nine grounds out of the 92 I haven’t visited so I will tick that off on Saturday.

“If you look where Ipswich and Accrington were 10/12 years ago, we were poles apart and that should give hope to other clubs, similar to us, that good things can happen and you don’t always need a rich sugar daddy to do it.”

Striker Colby Bishop, who scored both goals when Stanley hosted the Blues and won 2-0, Town's first league defeat of the campaign, in October, is expected to return from a back injury having resumed training earlier in the week.

Winger Jordan Clark missed Tuesday’s on-penalties Trophy victory at Fleetwood due to a minor hamstring strain, while defender Mark Hughes is expected to return having been rested in midweek.

Midfielder Sean McConville is sidelined for the rest of the season having undergone achilles surgery.

Striker Billy Kee has not played this season as he is undergoing treatment for depression, anxiety and bulimia.

The sides have only met twice previously in their history, both at the Wham Stadium in the last two seasons.

In October, Bishop scored twice - the second a penalty - in a 2-0 victory to halt the Blues’ run of five successive wins in all competitions.

Bishop nodded the opener in the 17th minute before converting from the spot on 41 after a foul by Toto Nsiala. Both sides ended the match with 10 men after Armando Dobra and Ross Sykes were red-carded for an off-the-ball clash with 11 minutes remaining.

In January last year the Lancastrians won a third-round FA Cup tie 1-0 via Billy Kee’s 76th-minute goal.

Town striker Jackson joined the Blues from Accrington for £1.6 million in the summer of 2018, while right-back Donacien moved to Town for £750,000 during the same close season. Both were members of Stanley’s 2017/18 League Two title-winning side.

Blues defender Nsiala had a loan spell with Accrington from Everton in the second half of the 2011/12 season and then joined them on a permanent basis the following summer, spending a further 18 months at the Wham Stadium.

No current Accrington player has been with the Blues, although keeper-coach Tony Warner had a trial with Town in 1998.

Saturday’s referee is Charles Breakspear from Surrey, who has shown a not insignificant 94 yellow cards and 11 red in 21 games so far this season.

Breakspear was the fourth official on the end of Cardiff defender Sol Bamba’s outburst which led to his red card when the Bluebirds visited Portman Road in December 2016.

The last Town game he refereed was the 1-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Stevenage at Portman Road in August 2016 in which he booked Tommy Smith and two visiting players.

He was also in charge of the 1-0 defeat at QPR in February of the same year in which he booked Kevin Bru and two home players.

Before that, he officiated in the 0-0 home draw with Wigan in January 2015 in which he booked Tommy Smith and three Latics.

Prior to that he took control of the 1-0 home victory over Bolton in February 2014, the winning goal a 55th-minute David McGoldrick penalty awarded after the striker had been hauled back by Trotters’ keeper Andy Lonergan, who had dropped a high ball.

Breakspear also refereed Town’s 3-0 pre-season friendly victory at Colchester in July 2013 in which he also awarded the Blues a spotkick, which Daryl Murphy scored after he was fouled by U’s keeper Sam Walker.

Squad from: Holy, Norris, Edwards, Garbutt, Kenlock, Chambers (c), Wilson, Woolfenden, Skuse, Dozzell, Downes, Huws, Judge, Bishop, El Mizouni, Dobra, Jackson, Keane, Norwood, Sears.

Photo: TWTD

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therein61 added 16:04 - Jan 10
No win since 05/11 we need to kick off now otherwise we will soon be running out of weeks to put it right, COYB.

minesapint added 16:10 - Jan 10
When a referee averages a red card every second match and 4.5 yellow cards per game the result becomes a lottery.

Barty added 16:40 - Jan 10
100% from all players and 3-1 victory. We must end this dismal run tomorrow. COYB

dirtydingusmagee added 17:09 - Jan 10
Last win was Nov 5th , there will be more fireworks if we lose this one. Nothing ive seen for weeks makes me feel remotely confident about tomorrow. I predict a dour worrying game ,but i wouldn't put my old shirt on us winning .

Kickingblock added 19:08 - Jan 10
Please play the football that you talk about.
That is what I am paying my hard earned money to see.

Cloddyseedbed added 20:21 - Jan 10
I for one am looking forward to the players, coaches and manager playing a good game tomorrow for the 1st time this year, instead of talking a good game.

blueboy1981 added 20:49 - Jan 10
Let’s wait and see what 5.00 pm tomorrow brings shall we ? - after all don’t forget it’s Accrington Stanley, not Anderlecht, that will be coming here with more than a hope of points at the end of it.
Sure fire reality check for all.

runningout added 21:09 - Jan 10
Accrington will be up for it like many in league 1. Hope our players realise how much opposition want our scalp. We need to turn on the ruthless switch on. As apparently we’re a big club in this League. Was!

ITFCsince73 added 21:19 - Jan 10
Having grown up through the.....”Accrington Stanley who are they” years.
I can’t really believe it’s come down to beating these “former” minnows to stop our season collapsing around us.
And an embarrassing double defeat.

harlingblue added 01:19 - Jan 11
Time for PL to pick the strongest team and with the best formation to suit those players, be on the front foot from the word go, and finally make Portman Road a HOME WIN ONLY FORTRESS for the rest of this season.

shakytown added 05:57 - Jan 11
We really need to sort it out at the back for starters.

Woodbridgian added 07:28 - Jan 11
If we can’t beat this lot then we really are in trouble.

chepstowblue added 08:15 - Jan 11
Does anybody know what our best 11 should be?! Much like Lambert i'm currently seeing about 17 players who I'd not want to pick for the next game,and unfortunately I couldn't name 11 who deserve to play !! Ipswich 1 Accrington 2 will add to the unrest.

rugbytomc added 08:58 - Jan 11
In this league we need a tall physical defender. We don’t have one. We won’t go up

Tractorboy1985 added 09:09 - Jan 11
If we are unable to win this game we will 100% not go up! Evans then has to be put under pressure from the fans to bring in 2-3 players who can make a difference... we all delved into our pocket pre season mr Evans and pulled together to do everything we could do... how about you now do the same???

Dissboyitfc added 10:16 - Jan 11
I also grew up in the " Accrington who " years, but should point out that this team is not that team!

We would all like to see new players signed but we have more than enough about us to get out of this division and i think the problem lies with Lambert, the constant changes has done us no good, would love to be a fly on the wall when they had their recent clear out.

going for a boring low scoring draw, again!

ringwoodblue added 10:25 - Jan 11
Time to get back to winning ways and it must start today. Home form from now until May will be critical. Predict 2-1 to Town. COYB!

BettyBlue added 11:09 - Jan 11
"Crisis, What Crisis?"
The one you've been paid £1m to create.
Won't win again with this manager. Not even Accrington.

Edmundo added 13:10 - Jan 11
Praying the floodgates open and we play some good stuff, win 3 or 4-0 and start back up the League.
"Same old Ipswich, taking the p***" Remember that, as we stroked the ball around back in the day? Let's get that swagger back!

Saxonblue74 added 14:22 - Jan 11
Nothing less than a convincing victory will do today.

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