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Bristol City striker Jon Stead out to drag former club Ipswich Town back into a relegation scrap

11:01 21 December 2012

Bristol City striker Jon Stead

Bristol City striker Jon Stead

Ipswich v Bristol City: BRISTOL City striker Jon Stead is determined to drag former club Ipswich Town back into a relegation scrap.

The 29-year-old – who made 63 appearances for the Blues between 2008 and 2010 – is expected to replace the injured Ryan Taylor up front for the Robins at Portman Road tomorrow.

And he knows just how significant the result could be on the Robins hopes of Championship survival. Victory would see the fourth-from-bottom side close the gap on Town to just two points, while defeat would see them fall eight points adrift and effectively become embroiled in a four-team fight for safety.

“It’s a hugely important period for us and Ipswich is a massive game,” said Stead, speaking to the Bristol Post.

“We’re under no illusions as to where we can be and where we don’t want to be at the end of the festive period.

“Obviously, you want the gap to be as small as possible and the last thing you need is to be losing sight of the teams immediately above you.

“It’s about keeping all those clubs around you as close as you can. If you do that, then a win can take you up two or three places rather than just closing a gap.

“There are some really big games coming up, games that could go a long way to closing gaps and jumping above rivals.

“We have some difficult games, but they are winnable ones. If we show the fight and character we have shown on the road for the last couple of games, Saturday could be a good day for us.”

Although defeat would effectively cut City adrift and leave them to contest a mini-league comprising fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley and Peterborough, Robins boss Derek McInnes – who has seen his side lose 10 of their last 13 matches – insists tomorrow’s game is like any other.

He said: “It’s an important fixture, but there are only three points at stake like every other game. I’m not getting dragged into that (talking about the league table). For me, it’s just about Bristol City.

“I think it’s too early in the season to be worried about the opposition and be looking at teams around us. My club is the only concern of mine and we need to concentrate on ourselves.

“If we can get a level of performance we know we are capable of, it will give us a chance to win the game.”

– Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy will conduct his pre-match press conference at lunchtime. Keep an eye on this website for all the latest Blues team news.

1 comment

  • Sorry John... thanks for the time and effort you put in at ITFC, but Mick has us up and about, and we'll bounce back from Leeds with a very comfortable win. COYB... 4-0

    Report this comment

    Kieran Atkin

    Friday, December 21, 2012

Has ever an Ipswich-Norwich derby game been so hotly anticipated?

Wes Hoolahan has been pin-pointed as Norwich City’s key man by Ipswich Town ahead of Sunday’s East Anglian derby at Carrow Road (12pm ko, Sky Sports).

Ipswich Town star Josh Emmanuel is the star of the new edition of Kings of Anglia - which is now on sale.

David McGoldrick says Ipswich Town’s players owe their supporters an East Anglian derby victory on Sunday (12pm ko, Sky Sports).

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers admitted he didn’t know whether he was coming or going as speculation mounted over his future on deadline day.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy knows a long-awaited victory against bitter rivals Norwich City would go a long way to salvaging some pride from a stuttering season.

It may have been the Full Members Cup, but Simon Milton’s strike against Norwich City, is fondly remembered as any goal that has been scored by an Ipswich Town player in an East Anglia Derby.

There isn’t usually a downside to being a guest of honour at Wembley, and former Ipswich Town hero Simon Milton is relishing his trip there for this Sunday’s EFL Cup final between Manchester United and Southampton.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has got a welcome selection headache ahead of Sunday’s East Anglian derby against bitter rivals Norwich City, at Carrow Road (12pm ko, Sky Sports).

The thought of playing bitter rivals Norwich City at the end of a sequence of Championship games that included Reading, Aston Villa, Brighton and Leeds, was enough to send a shudder down the spines of the most optimistic of Ipswich Town fans.

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