‘The lads coming in are deserving of a place and they deserve the opportunity to play’ - Gill on Town’s FA Cup side
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town are looking to progress to the next round of the FA Cup this weekend but there’s no mistaking the top priority this season.
In what is the club's first entry at the first round stage since 1956, the Blues take on Lincoln City, a side who dumped them out of the competition just two-and-a-half years ago.
That game saw non-league Lincoln emerge victorious against a sliding Town side, 59 places above them in the league pyramid, but this version of the game comes at a time when both sides are in League One.
Ipswich top the table, of course, and it's the quest for an instant return to the Championship that consumes the Suffolk side.
There will be changes to the team but that doesn't mean they don't want to progress in the cup.
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"We will name a team to win the game, we go into each game trying to win it and keep that momentum," first team coach Matt Gill said. "That's vital.
"The lads coming in are deserving of a place and they deserve the opportunity to play.
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"We're taking it seriously and want to win the game.
"The FA Cup is below the No.1 priority but with this being such a big tournament with a fabulous history, we'll pay it as much respect as we can."
There's one thing Gill is hoping for above all others, though.
"A replay is the last thing from our minds in terms of what we need. Hopefully we can get it done in 90 minutes and that will be great."
Ipswich haven't won a game in this famous tournament since 10, failing in their last 13 matches, with the victory at Wembley in 1978 now a distant memory.
But the weight of history that comes with playing or coaching Ipswich Town is something that should inspire the current squad, according to Gill.
"This club has such a rich history so to see the likes of Mick Mills and John Wark around the club is brilliant," he said.
"The lads here are trying to create their own history and hopefully we can make a small part of it.
"You want to play and work for clubs with great history and you want to build a new one as well of course."
On Lincoln, now managed by Michael Appleton following Danny and Nicky Cowley's departure for Huddersfield earlier this season, Gill said: "It'll be a really tough game, Michael Appleton's a really experienced coach and it'll be a really tough game.
"They're not going so well in the league but they've got a good squad built there at the moment, so we need to be fully at it like we are normally.
"Obviously I don't know the approach at the moment regarding the way they train or play, but I think that it does take time normally and I'm sure he'll get the best out of them.
"Our main purpose is getting through the tie and we've prepared exactly as we would for any other game. That's our aim."
Following this weekend's game, the Blues are in EFL Trophy action at near-neighbours Colchester.