|Accrington Stanley 1 v 2 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 2nd March 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Post-Lambert Era Begins at Accrington
Monday, 1st Mar 2021 18:59
Town begin the post-Paul Lambert era aiming for a third successive victory when they travel to Accrington Stanley on Tuesday evening with first-team coach Matt Gill in caretaker charge with academy head of coaching and player development Bryan Klug assisting him.
The Gill-Klug management partnership is likely to be short-lived with it anticipated that Paul Cook will be appointed before the end of the week and perhaps in the stands at Accrington, where the 54-year-old has been both a player and a manager.
Town go into the match following a 1-0 win at Hull City last Tuesday and Saturday’s 2-1 home win against Doncaster.
Those results, the Blues’ first back-to-back wins since October, have seen Town up to eighth in the table, two points off the play-offs.
The Blues last won three in a row in the league in a run of four successive victories in September and October 2019.
Caretaker boss Gill has been very involved in recent selections so will probably stick essentially to the team which has been unchanged for the last three matches, although while probably making one or two changes with the side tiring towards the end on Saturday.
Tomas Holy will be in goal with the back four again probably, from the right, skipper Luke Chambers, Toto Nsiala, James Wilson and Myles Kenlock.
In midfield, Flynn Downes could return to the XI in place of either Andre Dozzell or Teddy Bishop.
Alan Judge is again likely to be on the left with Keanan Bennetts probably on the right, although Gwion Edwards is fit again and could return to the line-up if the on-loan Borussia Mönchengladbach winger is rested.
James Norwood will again be the lone out and out striker with Troy Parrott behind him.
Jon Nolan and Kayden Jackson are understood to be back training with the senior squad again following their exile to the U23s but may not be considered for involvement at Accrington having only returned to the fold today.
Accrington, who are one place ahead of the Blues on goal difference, have won just once in their last seven, although they have drawn four during that time, including at Fleetwood at on Saturday when the game ended 1-1.
Manager John Coleman isn’t anticipating Town being too much different following the departure of former manager Lambert.
“I think whoever takes charge tomorrow at Ipswich will have been part of the coaching staff so I don’t think it will make much difference to the way they play,” he told the Stanley official site.
“Football in general sees a high turnover of managers. It’s a crazy industry, it’s cut-throat. It’s a brilliant industry to be in, but it’s also a terrible one - the way dealings go on, managers are maligned.
“It’s such a merry-go-round. It always has been, just not as brutal as it is now but we have to get on with it.
“We have played against teams who have changed managers before, such as Steve Cotterill and John Sheridan. I think it was their first games in charge of Shrewsbury and Swindon respectively when we played them and it would be unusual to go through a season without it nowadays.
“Ipswich are on a good run of form. There are good times and bad times to play any teams but we have to get back to getting our own form right and not worry about the opposition too much.
“When we get it right, we are as good as anybody and we have proved that against the top teams. We have got to score more goals, have a little bit of luck, you have got to work hard and make things happen.”
Regarding former Stanley striker Jackson, Coleman added: “I like Kayden, he is a great lad, he knows what we are about. The management have deemed not to choose him at the moment, that could change tomorrow.”
Accrington are hoping that 13-goal top scorer Dion Charles will be OK after damaging his ankle at Fleetwood.
Defenders Harvey Rodgers returns after a one-match ban, while midfielder Joe Pritchard is due to be assessed prior to the match after picking up a knock at the weekend.
The teams have only previously met four times in their history, all in the last three seasons with Town winning twice and Stanley twice, all those games, three League One matches and one FA Cup tie at the Wham Stadium, home wins.
At Portman Road in October, second-half goals from Edwards and Freddie Sears saw then-top-of-the-table Town to a 2-0 victory over Stanley.
The Blues, who started without an out-and-out central striker, were disappointing in the first half but improved after the break with Edwards opening the scoring in the 54th minute and Sears sealing a third successive 2-0 League One home win on 71.
Last time at the Wham Stadium on October 2019, Colby Bishop scored twice for the home side - 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 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.
Striker Jackson joined the Blues from Accrington for £1.6 million in the summer of 2018, while right-back Janoi Donacien, who is on loan at Fleetwood, 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.
Former Town winger Gary Roberts - who we understand has been eyed for a coaching role by prospective Blues boss Cook - rejoined Accrington in January having previously joined the Blues from Stanley initially on loan in October 2006.
Roberts, now 36, made 45 starts and 14 sub appearances for Town, scoring four times before departing for Huddersfield in July 2008. Stanley keeper-coach Tony Warner had a trial with Town in 1998.
Tuesday’s referee is former Premier League official Bobby Madley, who has shown 62 yellow cards and two red in 21 games so far this season.
West Yorkshire-based Madley left his top flight role in August 2018 after making and texting a video which made fun of a disabled person which was then made known to his employers.
He returned to refereeing in this country last year following a spell officiating in the lower leagues in Norway.
Madley’s most recent Town game was the 0-0 draw at Oxford United in December in which he booked Dozzell.
Before that he refereed the 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday in April 2016 in which he yellow-carded Chambers, Kevin Bru, Brett Pitman and one Owl.
Prior to that he was in charge of the 1-1 draw at AFC Bournemouth in April 2015 in which he again booked Chambers and one home player.
His only other Blues match was the 1-0 home victory over Blackpool in February 2013 in which he cautioned only Guirane N’Daw.
Squad from: Holy, Cornell, Matheson, Ward, Kenlock, Chambers (c), Wilson, Nsiala, McGuinness, Woolfenden, Dozzell, Downes, Judge, Huws, Harrop, Bishop, Edwards, Lankester, Thomas, Sears, Parrott, Norwood, Drinan.
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