Here comes the bogeyman: Ipswich Town have to stop striker David Nugent

David Nugent has an incredible record against Town

David Nugent has an incredible record against Town - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

All runs have to be come to an end at some point.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is certainly hoping that proves to be the case tonight when David Nugent returns to Portman Road as a Middlesbrough player tonight (7.45pm, Sky Sports).

The 30-year-old striker scored 14 goals in 13 games against the Blues at former clubs Preston, Portsmouth and Leicester.

And, incredibly, he has scored on all seven of his visits to Suffolk – including one for England’s Under-21s.

The Liverpudlian has revelled in the pantomime villain role, cupping his ears to fans on occasion, and has rubbed salt in the wounds by revealing that he could have joined the club on three separate occasions in the past.

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“He’s probably scored more goals against us than the rest of the league put together!” joked McCarthy, who revealed he once tried to sign Nugent at Wolves.

“Why he’s got such a good record against us heaven only knows. I take the view that it’s got to stop sometime – and that might as well be now.

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“There’s no point thinking any other way is there? We know he can play, we know he’s quick, we know he’s got good movement, that he’s a really good finisher and that he’s been a Premier League footballer. We’ve just got to tie him down.”

Blues skipper Luke Chambers said: “I know a lot is said of his record but it’s not something as players you think about.

“We are well aware that he’s a very good striker but I think we can match him with Tommy (Smith) and Bez (Christophe Berra) at the back.

“And I think our strikers are up there as some of, if not the best in the league.”

Town go into tonight’s game on the back of a six-game unbeaten run, while second-placed Middlesbrough exited the Legaue Cup with a 2-0 home loss to Everton on Tuesday night.

- Follow @Stuart_Watson for all the latest from Ipswich Town and buy today’s papers for an in-depth two-page match preview.

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