Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 3°C

min temp: -2°C

Search

‘They are quite fragile’: Ipswich face stuttering Middlesbrough at an ideal time

PUBLISHED: 10:51 07 December 2017

Alun Armstrong, pictured with Marcus Stewart and Matt Holland, believes Ipswich head to Middlesbrough at the perfect time.

Alun Armstrong, pictured with Marcus Stewart and Matt Holland, believes Ipswich head to Middlesbrough at the perfect time.

Ipswich Town have the perfect opportunity to take advantage of ‘fragile’ Middlesbrough’s struggles, according to former striker Alun Armstrong.

The Blues sit just two places and three points above Saturday’s opponents, but all is not well at the North East club given they are struggling to meet lofty expectations, following a summer which saw a succession of big-money signings arrive in a bid to secure an immediate return to the top flight.

Armstrong, who moved to Portman Road from the Riverside in December 2000, believes the Blues take on Garry Monk’s side at the ideal time following two good wins of their own, but expects the game between his two former clubs to be a close one.

“I think it will be an interesting game this weekend because Boro need to get back to winning ways and Ipswich seem to have picked up a little bit,” he said.

MORE: Burley backs firing Blues to make the Championship top six

Ipswich Alun Armstrong celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot against Inter Milan. Picture: PA Ipswich Alun Armstrong celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot against Inter Milan. Picture: PA

“It will be tough for both teams but Middlesbrough have such a high expectation on them. It’s expected they will be promoted, end of.

“They need to go up this year and everyone knows how much has been spent on players, in excess of £50million, and in all honesty in that league that should get you promoted.

“They made a statement early on to say ‘we will smash the Championship’ and it’s been far from it. You can get away with it if the performances are good and results not great. Unfortunately they are not getting either at the minute.

MORE: Former Ipswich boss Royle leaves Everton role

“I think it’s an ideal time for Ipswich to come and play Boro. They are quite fragile and I think Ipswich will be right up for it given the results they’ve had last week.”

Armstrong is now the manager of promotion-chasing National League North side Blyth Spartans but still finds time to keep a close eye on both of his former clubs’ fortunes. And he’s been particularly impressed by Blues striker Martyn Waghorn.

“I was really surprised he left Rangers because they are obviously a big club, but there is nothing like the English league at the end of the day,” Armstrong said.

MORE: ‘Football doesn’t wait for anyone... you’ve got to make it happen’: Chambers’ challenge to Bishop

“He’s had a great start to his Ipswich career and is always a threat and a good finisher. He’s be one to watch for Ipswich.

“Then again, you look at Middlesbrough’s attacking force and they have some great players but can’t string anything together. They have (Britt) Assombalonga and he’s caused problems and scored goals, but the overall play hasn’t been great.”

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has urged his players to have a few beers on their Christmas night out following this afternoon’s 2-0 home win over Reading.

First-half goals from Callum Connolly and Joe Garner saw Ipswich Town beat Reading 2-0 at Portman Road to move up to eighth in the Championship table.

Ipswich Town host Reading in a Championship match this afternoon (3pm).

In this week’s nostalgia, we travel back to seven years ago when Town secured a hard-fought 2-1 win over Reading at Portman Road on 5 April 2010

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is hoping for some home tonic over the festive period.

A new book about Ipswich Town, called ‘My Favourite Game’, is on sale now, with proceeds going to charity.

Monday marks the 10th anniversary of Marcus Evans completing his takeover of Ipswich Town Football Club. Blues manager Mick McCarthy has today spoken openly about his working relationship with the owner.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is hoping that Teddy Bishop can fill the shoes of injured Emyr Huws during the second half of the season.

Ipswich Town winger Danny Rowe will be joining League Two side Lincoln City on loan for the second half of the season when the January transfer window opens.

Ipswich Town host Reading in a Championship match tomorrow afternoon (3pm).

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24