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Eyes on the prize - Terry Connor knows players must maintain their focus

PUBLISHED: 10:20 04 February 2013 | UPDATED: 10:20 04 February 2013

Aaron Mclean celebrates putting Ipswich Town 3-0 up against Middlesbrough on Saturday

Aaron Mclean celebrates putting Ipswich Town 3-0 up against Middlesbrough on Saturday

Archant

IPSWICH Town have more than enough quality and character to beat the drop.

That was assistant manager Terry Connor’s confident assessment after he led the Blues to a morale-boosting 4-0 home win over promotion-chasing Middlesbrough on Saturday.

With virus-hit manager Mick McCarthy forced to watch the game from his sick bed via a video link, Town ran riot in the second half as four goals were netted at Portman Road for the first time since the 5-1 thrashing of West Ham – a result which occurred almost a year earlier to the day.

The Blues have leapfrogged Wolves and Bolton in the Championship table following their first league win of 2013, but still remain just four points above the relegation zone after victories for Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday.

“It could go right down to the wire,” admitted Connor, after Tommy Smith’s headed double sandwiched goals from forward duo David McGoldrick and Aaron Mclean.

“You just can’t take your eye off the ball for one moment in this league. Top can beat bottom or bottom can beat top on any given day and you always know you’re going to have a game on your hands.

“We’ve just asked the lads to work hard, stick together and take things game-by-game.

“We’re pleased with the players we have been able to add though and we think we’re capable of picking up enough points over the next 16 games to still be in the Championship next season.”

– Join Ipswich Town writers Stuart Watson and Chris Brammer at 1pm today for a live webchat. Click the link on the homepage.

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With Ipswich Town’s Championship season just over a week away from kicking-off, excitement is building at Portman Road – the buzz at Thursday’s open day spreading a new wave of optimism amongst supporters.

Ipswich Town take on Charlton Athletic, at The Valley, in their final warm-up game for 2017/18 tomorrow afternoon. Stuart Watson previews the game.

Three of Ipswich Town’s summer signings are struggling to be fit for next Saturday’s Championship opener against Birmingham City, at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town new boy Dominic Iorfa believes his strongest position, in the long-term, will be centre-back.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he will be restricted to signing a striker on loan due to the fact the Blues can’t compete financially with some of the ‘bonkers’ transfer fees being spent in the Championship.

Blues fans of all ages have gathered at Portman Road today to meet their heroes ahead of the start of the new season.

Huge queues are building up outside Portman Road this morning for today’s annual Ipswich Town Open Day.

The second tier season starts next Friday, however, clubs are working frantically to add to their squads, ahead of a long campaign. Several deals HAVE already been done though and CHRIS BRAMMER picks out six of the best.

Nearly 60 per cent of Ipswich Town fans would like to see Luke Chambers start in the heart of the Blues defence, alongside Adam Webster, when the Championship season begins next Saturday.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he is prepared to play a waiting game to sign the right striker before the transfer window shuts.

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