A tough task as Ipswich Town face-off against both Jordan Rhodes and David Nugent

David Nugent and Jordan Rhodes

David Nugent and Jordan Rhodes - Credit: Archant

There is no doubting Ipswich Town have a tough assignment this afternoon, as they face a Middlesbrough side including both Jordan Rhodes and David Nugent.

Tommy Smith dives for the ball during the Ipswich Town v Fulham (Championship) match at Portman Road

Tommy Smith dives for the ball during the Ipswich Town v Fulham (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 19 April 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The pair both have remarkable goalscoring records against the Blues, with Nugent netting 15 times in 14 games and Rhodes scoring six in six against the side who let him go in 2009.

While Nugent is likely to be on the bench, Rhodes is set to start against an Ipswich side including close friend Tommy Smith, with the two coming through the Blues’ youth system at the same time.

When asked if knowing Rhodes so well makes it easier to defend against him, Smith said: “It hasn’t seemed to, he seems to score in most games!

“They’re both good players and both have good records against Ipswich so it will be up for us to change that.


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“I speak to Jordan a fair bit and I’m going to his wedding this summer, so we’re friends, but once you cross that white line you’re not mates until the final whistle blows.

“You have to (put friendship aside) because you’re still mates and you’re just doing your job. It’s been the same when we have beaten teams he’s been in.

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“I have come up against Chris Wood a few times, who is one of my best mates in football, and you try and give them a rough ride which maybe adds an extra edge to it.”

Tommy Smith and Jordan Rhodes in action for Ipswich Town reserves, against Leyton Orient in 2008.

Tommy Smith and Jordan Rhodes in action for Ipswich Town reserves, against Leyton Orient in 2008.

When asked if he believes selling Rhodes to Huddersfield in 2009 was a mistake, Smith said: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing, the manager at the time saw that as the right decision for the club but we all knew as players just how much quality he possessed.

“He was always a great finisher and the finishers get paid the big money, but there was every chance he would if he kept on improving.

“All credit to him, he’s improved his all-round game and it’s not just scoring goals.”

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