Big match preview: Ipswich Town v Bolton Wanderers – all you need to know
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town host rock-bottom Bolton Wanderers in a Championship clash this afternoon (3pm). STUART WATSON previews the match.
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is acutely aware that his team need to put on a good show against rock-bottom Bolton Wanderers at Portman Road this afternoon.
The Blues won their opening five games in all competitions to help blow away the dark cloud which lingered following a forgettable 2016/17 campaign, but league defeats to Fulham (2-0 at home) and QPR (2-1 away) have provided a reality check.
“I don’t think it’s a wobble by any stretch of the imagination,” said McCarthy. “It was no disgrace losing to Fulham – they were just outstanding and better than us. At QPR there was nothing in the game up until that decision (a handball not spotted in the build-up to the host’s opener) just before half-time.
“We’d have all taken 12 points out of the six games. If we look at where we are now we’re kind of in 15/16 season territory with the points we’ve got and if we win on Saturday – and let’s hope we do because I think the fans need to see that now and they need a good performance – we’d be above what we were.
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“We’ve had two beaten and we want to change that.”
Phil Parkinson became the first manager to get a team promoted under a transfer embargo when guiding Bolton back into the Championship at the first time of asking last season. The Trotters are yet to register a league win this season, their two points coming from away draws against Millwall and Birmingham.
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“I watched them on Tuesday (a 1-0 home defeat to Sheffield United) and they looked a bit nervy at home so they might be delighted to be away from home,” said McCarthy. “They’ve got a squad full of Championship players that on any given day could be a real handful. They’re no mugs, despite their results and position in the league.
“Maybe the issue is that Phil has had to get them in dribs and drabs. As the season goes on and they get settled in they’ll get better.
“I can’t look at them and say they’ve got a bad squad of players by any stretch of the imagination. We’ll have to be on our guard.”
Asked if his own side’s intensity had dropped in the last couple of games, the Blues boss replied: “It might have dropped a little bit because I’ve had 15 fit players who have worked their socks off. We need to get back to those levels though.”
Team name: Bolton Wanderers
Nickname: The Trotters
Manager: Phil Parkinson (June 2016-): P63 W30 D14 L19
New summer signings: Antonee Robinson (Everton, loan), Mark Little (Bristol City, free), Stephen Darby (Bradford, free), Josh Cullen (West Ham, loan), Will Buckley (Sunderland, free), Craig Noone (Cardiff, free), Adam Armstrong (Newcastle, loan), Aaron Wilbraham (Bristol City, free).
Position last season: 2nd in League One
Last game: Tues – L 1-0 to Sheff Utd (h)
Ipswich Town team news
• Captain Luke Chambers is fit again after missing the last three league games with an ankle injury. • Man City loanee Bersant Celina scored a fine consolation goal at QPR last weekend, but has missed training with a dead leg and may not make his full Championship debut as a result. • Midfielder Tom Adeyemi could make his full Town debut after having a positive impact off the bench at Loftus Road. • Mick McCarthy is considering a return to the wing-back system he started the season with and has spoken about picking a more balanced side. • Adam Webster (ankle) and Tommy Smith (hamstring) are due to return to training next week. • Emyr Huws (Achilles), Teddy Bishop (groin) and Andre Dozzell (knee) remain sidelined.
Bolton Wdrs team news
• Midfielders Will Buckley (hamstring) and Derik Osede (groin) both picked up injuries during Tuesday night’s 1-0 home defeat to Sheffield United. • They join a lengthy injury list that includes Josh Vela (ankle), Sammy Ameobi (knee) and Stephen Darby (hamstring), with Andy Taylor (calf) and Filipe Morais (knee) also big doubts.
Opposition key man
Antonee Robinson The 20-year-old left-back could be directly up against his fellow Everton loanee Callum Connolly in front of watching Toffees mentor Joe Royle. The USA youth international did well on Tuesday night, along with fellow wing-back Mark Little.
Ipswich (11/10), Draw (45/17), Bolton (3/1)
Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire) Games: 4, Yellows: 16, Reds: 4
Bolton Wanderers 2 Ipswich Town 2
Date: Tues, March 8, 2016
Kevin Bru’s sensational strike (24) and Christophe Berra’s header (72) put Town in control, but Lawrie Wilson quickly pulled one back (73) and then Ainsley Maitland-Niles conceded a sloppy stoppage-time penalty which Stephen Dobbie converted. Town won the reverse fixture 2-0 at home.
Ipswich Town 2 Bolton Wdrs 0
If Town play with intensity from the off, they should win.