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Ipswich Town 0 v 2 Rotherham United
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 23rd November 2021 Kick-off 19:45
Blues Host Rotherham Looking to Bounce Back From Sunderland Defeat
Monday, 22nd Nov 2021 13:54

Town host second-placed, in-form Rotherham United at Portman Road on Tuesday looking to bounce back from Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Sunderland.

The loss to the Black Cats was the Blues’ first in six but their second league game without scoring, following the 0-0 home draw with Oxford, despite having had a number of chances to go in front prior to the Wearsiders’ two late goals.

The loss saw Town drop to 10th, seven points from the play-offs and 10 behind the Millers in the second automatic promotion spot.

Rotherham, who were relegated in May following one season in Championship, are undefeated in 14 in all competitions, winning 10 of those games. In the league they are unbeaten in 11, winning seven. The beat 3-1 at home on Saturday.

The Millers are the joint-second top scorers in League One on 32, behind only the Blues, who have netted 34 times. They have conceded the joint-fewest in the division, 13, alongside Wigan Athletic.

Speaking immediately after Saturday’s defeat at Sunderland, Town boss Paul Cook was still to come to terms with the loss and turn his mind to the visit by the Millers.

“Take your disappointment, it’s got to sink in, it’s what drives you on,” he said. “We feel sick tonight, we’ll let the disappointment sink in before we pick ourselves up for Rotherham. It’s another tough test.

“We’re hurting tonight because we want to climb the league quickly, we want to get up there and unfortunately today we’ve certainly played well enough to take something out of the game. We would have been disappointed with a draw and we’re leaving with nothing.

“We’ll just travel back now, we’ll just regroup. We’re just really disappointed, that’s all I can say.”

Cook may look at making one or two changes to his team, although it’s all but certain Christian Walton will continue in goal despite his error for Sunderland’s first goal.

Janoi Donacien will be at right-back with Bailey Clements likely to continue on the left unless Hayden Coulson is over the knock he suffered at Wycombe. George Edmundson, again outstanding at the Stadium of Light, and Toto Nsiala will be the centre-halves.

In midfield, Cook will probably continue with skipper Sam Morsy and Lee Evans in the centre.

Morsy will be looking to avoid a fifth league yellow card and therefore a one-match suspension. After the game against the Millers, Town’s 19th league game, a fifth booking will no longer lead to a ban.

Cook may make changes to the three behind 11-goal top scorer Macauley Bonne. Sone Aluko is likely to keep his place on the right with Wes Burns out with a hamstring injury, but Conor Chaplin could return as the number 10 and Scott Fraser may come under consideration on the left, although Kyle Edwards was a threat at Sunderland, particularly in the first half.

Tom Carroll, Tomas Holy, Luke Woolfenden and Louie Barry all started Monday’s U23s game with Millwall so are unlikely to be among the subs.

Rotherham are hopeful midfielder Ollie Rathbone will be back for the trip to Portman Road after missing Saturday’s 3-1 home win against Cambridge United due to illness having not trained during the week leading up to the match.

Defender Wes Harding faced the U’s despite having had a calf problem, while striker Will Grigg has been cleared to play having undergone a scan on his foot.

Angus MacDonald is a long-term absentee, but the Millers have no new injury concerns.

Michael Smith, joint-League One top scorer with 12 goals, will be back after a one-game ban.

Millers boss Paul Warne believes anyone who finishes above Town will be in one of the automatic play-off spots.

“My assessment of them is no different to everybody else's possibly. I've always liked Cooky [Paul Cook] and the way his teams play.

“He's virtually always 4-2-3-1. They've had a new team which took some time to gel and now I think they are. They're a team that create chances and keep the ball very well.

“It's a team that we want to go to and try to win though. We'll pick an aggressive team and when the whistle goes we'll try to win, but it will be a big ask and I still think if you finish above Ipswich you will take one of the automatic spots.”

Town have won 15 of the previous games between the sides, all of which have been in the league, eight have ended in draws, with the Millers having won 11, including the last two.

The Blues have won only one of the last seven between the teams since winning 5-2 in South Yorkshire in November 2015 when Daryl Murphy netted a hat-trick.

The teams last met at the New York Stadium in January 2020 when Rotherham skipper Richard Wood’s 42nd minute goal saw the Millers to a 1-0 victory and to the top of the table at the Blues’ expense.

Wood headed home as the South Yorkshiremen dominated against an under par Town, who almost grabbed a late undeserved equaliser when sub James Norwood hit the post.

In October 2019 at Portman Road, Rotherham inflicted Town’s second League One defeat of the season and their second in four days as Matt Crooks netted twice to secure the Millers a 2-0 victory.

The midfielder - a Blues target this summer before his move to Middlesbrough - struck first on 11, then added the second three minutes after the restart.

Millers winger Chiedozie Ogbene had a spell on trial with the Blues in January 2018 - along with his Limerick team-mate Barry Cotter - before joining Brentford.

Tuesday’s referee is Gavin Ward from Surrey, who has shown 55 yellow cards and two red in 14 games so far this season.

Ward’s most recent Town match was the 2-0 defeat at Fleetwood in March in which he booked Gwion Edwards and two home players.

Prior to that he was in charge of the 3-2 home victory over Leeds in the final Championship game prior to relegation in May 2019 in which he booked Nsiala, Jackson and one White, and showed Blues captain Luke Chambers a late straight red card for a foul for which he also awarded the visitors a penalty.

Ward was also the man in the middle for the 6-1 pre-season thrashing at Charlton ahead of the start of the 2017/18 campaign and refereed the 1-0 away victory over the MK Dons in December 2015 in which he yellow-carded Chambers, Jonathan Douglas and Freddie Sears.

A month earlier he had taken charge of the 2-2 draw at home to Wolves in which he again booked Chambers and two visiting players.

Ward also took control of the 3-1 home victory over Cardiff in April of the same year in which he booked Cole Skuse, Tyrone Mings and Christophe Berra and two visiting players. Prior to that he was in charge of the 2-0 defeat at Rotherham that February.

Squad from: Hladky, Walton, Donacien, Vincent-Young, Clements, Penney, Edmundson, Nsiala, Burgess, Morsy, Evans, Harper, El Mizouni, Fraser, Burns, Chaplin, Celina, Edwards, Bonne, Pigott, Jackson.

Photo: Pagepix

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Radlett_blue added 14:42 - Nov 22
A big test for Town against in-form Rotherham. Fail to win and that will be only one win from the run of 5 games against other promotion contenders and that would indicate that. despite the improvement, Town are still falling short of expectations.

runningout added 15:16 - Nov 22
every game no matter who against is a test, not to be taken lightly. Which some players tend to!! Our historical habit of giving teams hope is cropping up too often. Apart from that it’s all rosey :-)

SpiritOfJohn added 15:28 - Nov 22
Going somewhat off topic, but I just bought tickets for the FA Cup match against Barrow and couldn't resist looking at the availability for Sunderland at home. There aren't many tickets left!

TimmyH added 15:48 - Nov 22
Self inflicted pressure I'm afraid...should never have lost at Sunderland and failed to beat Oxford but that's what happens if you don't find the net, we need to be far more composed on the ball and decision making needs to be better in the final third.

BossMan added 16:02 - Nov 22
Chaplin has scored more goals than anyone other than Bonne, he also has 2 assists, he performs a one man press for 90 mins and only Cook knows why he hasn't been in the starting 11 in any of the last 3 league games

cat added 16:55 - Nov 22
We have generally bounced back well from defeats this season and always seem to perform on a Tuesday night, so anything less than a win will be a massive disappointment. Either way I’m looking forward to the game and that’s what keeping me positive with all things ITFC!

therein61 added 18:07 - Nov 22
Agree "cat" but we are blowing so hot and cold at the minute that i feel we must get on a winning run before games start running out then we will be in no mans land and how many of the squad who dropped down to be in a promotion push will want another season in Div1? that being said the players must look at themselves and more concerning for me is the coaching staff who don't inspire confidence.

Gforce added 18:08 - Nov 22
The guy on EFL on Quest on Saturday night said ,whenever he watches Ipswich they always look like they've got an extra couple of gears in them,but never seem to find them.
I think this sums us up perfectly in recent matches.

jas0999 added 18:10 - Nov 22
A game we really need to win after failing to beat Oxford at home and the very disappointing defeat to Sunderland. Big crowd under the lights. We will either win heavily or lose!

herfie added 18:45 - Nov 22
The players have to start strongly against a strong, physical, Rotherham team who know exactly what they’re doing. Winning those initial individual battles, thereby earning the right to play, will probably dictate the game’s outcome. Decision making all over the pitch - particularly in the final third - will also be key; as will keeping full concentration at the back, and avoiding silly individual errors.

Accept there’s nothing new in all of that - but failing to do so since early doors has cost us dearly. But, I’ve no doubt we possess quality at this level, and remain optimistic that we’ll bounce back tomorrow. COYB!

Karlosfandangal added 18:51 - Nov 22
Would like to see Chaplin at number 10 and Celina on the left

cat added 19:10 - Nov 22
Indeed therein61 (bud) we are blowing hot and cold but we have all seen enough so far to see where we’ll be once everything clicks into place. Fans are expecting instant success but it don’t always work like that. Styles and systems make games and we are finding it hard to break teams down who press us hard, like Oxford, probably the best team I seen this year. Early days so still plenty to play for, keep the faith cause I’m telling you we’ll be top 6 this season, otherwise I’ll be questioning Cooks whatever lol

runningout added 19:28 - Nov 22
think Rotherham are a very decent team. Boli who was at Arsenal is half decent as well as their other wing back. Will give our defenders a good game

KiwiTractor added 19:30 - Nov 22
I don't have a good feeling about this one - our record against Rotherham in League One is poor - I hope I'm wrong, otherwise we will start looking down the league again instead of up.

For me, Chaplin has to start - we are a far better team with him in the XI - he has goals and assists in him.

Come on lads - good luck.

Linkboy13 added 20:33 - Nov 22
Been dredding this game since the fixtures came out. Rotherham are a strong physical team who make the most of the players at their disposal. I fear certain players will go missing when it gets physical. If we show the same spirit and desire we showed against Wycombe which has not been evident enough this season we could get a result. The players just can't switch on and off when it suits them otherwise this season will slowly slip away.

itfchorry added 22:33 - Nov 22
Just play two up front - Go for it

Saxonblue74 added 06:39 - Nov 23
Need to go at them from the first whistle, something they won't be used to. Early pressure, couple of early bookings perhaps and I'm confident we can take 3 points.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 06:39 - Nov 23
It worries me a bit when the oppo are ”virtually” certain of our formation before the start. Maybe we should try to surprise them? I get the argument that we should let the oppo worry about us rather than vice-versa, but surely everyone has a Plan B if things are not going well. Our ”Plan B” is Plan A with like for like replacements. But what do I know? A win against Rotherham and all will be forgiven. Big ask, though. COYB!

dirtydingusmagee added 08:35 - Nov 23
tough night ahead, if we come up short it will be a big set back as far as playoffs are concerned . We should have been top 6 all along, but weve thrown away too many points. Cook needs to up his game ,he is too one dimensional , WHEN the plan A works it looks good, but he just dosnt see further than plan A, and that plan dosnt always work, opposition teams know it and we are becoming an open book .

mathiemagic added 09:17 - Nov 23
Comes to something when we are "Worried about Rotherham at home" ! - That said we are where we are and if we do keep the same formation then Celina on the left and Chaplin as a No.10 for me. Edwards is exciting but has no end product it seems. Hopefully Coulson is back and fit soon, Clements coming through is good to see but not quite there yet. Suspect we might be back to our favourite 2-2 tonight. #COYB

Razor added 10:14 - Nov 23
Again I say it but will anybody listen-----Lester and Bonne through the middle and Celina and Edwards out wide-----this is a MUST win game and we must give Bonne more help.

Razor added 10:15 - Nov 23
Again I say it but will anybody listen-----Lester and Bonne through the middle and Celina and Edwards out wide-----this is a MUST win game and we must give Bonne more help.

Marinersnose added 10:22 - Nov 23
Let’s be brutally honest. We have a very strong squad of players for this poor league and we can all appreciate that at times we look an excellent side but we cannot maintain any consistency. Tactics appear rigid which again I would question. We have an excellent striker in Pigott who will never be a success playing as a lone striker so unless Cook is prepared to adapt his system Pigott needs to wrap up warm for another night on the bench. Too many players for me are not as good as they think they are. Celina should be given the wide role and Chaplin who is in form atm should play behind Bonne unless we are prepared to throw two up front and include Pigott. Jury’s still out for me with Evans. He can certainly play but application is questionable and I would give Idris a start as he’s more effective going forwards and offers a goal threat. No more excuses yes we were better than Sunderland but we lost the game . I don’t care if Rotherham are better than us so long as we get 3 points on the board

ipswichone added 14:10 - Nov 23
For some strange reason,Ipswich play better in evening games.but saying that,Rotherham are hot right now.could well be a mauling,unless are defence are on the ball from first minute,till the end

brassy added 15:56 - Nov 23
4 4 2 at home simples

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