Life after Lambert begins at Accrington as Town bid to keep up winning run
- Credit: Steve Waller www.stephenwa
Ipswich Town are in League One action against Accrington Stanley this evening. Andy Warren looks ahead to the game at the Wham Stadium.
It would be easy to forget the small matter of Ipswich Town’s game at Accrington Stanley this evening, given everything that’s gone on at Portman Road over the last few days.
Paul Lambert exited stage left after Saturday’s victory over Doncaster, with a good run of form leaving the Blues eighth in the League One table, just two points off the final play-off place.
Victory tonight could take Town back into the top six.
The Blues will be led by Matt Gill this evening, with Bryan Klug assisting him, with the pair, as well as goalkeeping coach Jimmy Walker bidding to keep building momentum which has helped the Suffolk side get back into the mix.
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There’s every chance Ipswich Town’s new manager will be watching this evening’s game.
That man is expected to be former Wigan boss Paul Cook, with the Blues last night closing in on his appointment. It’s not impossible he will be confirmed prior to kick-off, though he’s unlikely to be involved in the game.
There has been a suggestion he could even be in the stands at the Wham Stadium, a ground he knows well having played for and managed Stanley earlier in his career.
Even if he’s not in attendance, he’s sure to be watching at home, with the Town players likely wanting to impress.
Another man to keep an eye on this evening is former Ipswich midfielder Gary Roberts, who currently plays for Accrington but could eventually prove to be part of Cook’s backroom team.
This is the fifth instalment of what has been a rocky relationship for with Accrington.
The home team has come out on top on each occasion so far, with the Blues’ trips to the Wham Stadium ending in misery on both occasions.
First the Blues were dumped out of the FA Cup while a Championship side, losing 1-0, before last season’s visit ended in a 2-0 loss which started a terminal decline which saw Lambert’s men finish in 11th following a bright start.
Better is needed tonight, that’s for sure.
Lambert named the same starting XI for his final three games in charge of the Blues and it’s not impossible the Town caretakers do so again in this game.
The back five of Tomas Holy, Luke Chambers, James Wilson, Toto Nsiala and Myles Kenlock are surely set in stone, as are Alan Judge, Troy Parrott and James Norwood’s starting places as long as they are fit to play.
The question marks come in the centre of midfield where Flynn Downes could potentially come in for either Teddy Bishop or Andre Dozzell, while Gwion Edwards will be hopeful of a start. He could potentially replace Keanan Bennetts.
Kayden Jackson and Jon Nolan, exiled by Lambert prior to his departure, trained with the Town first-team yesterday morning prior to the coach journey to Accrington. It remains to be seen whether they are ready to return to the matchday squad.
Victories against promotion contenders had been like gold dust for Ipswich Town under Lambert, before the Scot won back-to-back matches against Hull and then Doncaster to round out his tenure at Portman Road.
And tonight’s game represents another opportunity for the Blues to lower the colours of a side above them. Stanley and Town are level on points, with the Lancashire club ahead of the Blues on goal difference.
Their season, under Jon Coleman, has been a hugely impressive one. Once again defying status, budget and expectation to thrash it out in the upper reaches of the division
Victory tonight would send Town at least to seventh but potentially as high as sixth.