Meet Town's opponents, Charlton: Blues head into the Valley, as Only Fools & Horses know!
- Credit: PA
Ipswich Town travel to south London this weekend to face a Charlton side on the rise. MIKE BACON takes a look at the Blues' opponents. It's a 12.30pm kick-off.
ADDICKS ARE PUSHING
Charlton Athletic are doing just what Town boss Paul Cook hoped his side would do as the League One season comes to a climax.
The Addicks are hitting form and pushing for a play-off place at just the right time.
Second in the current 'last six games form guide', (Town are 20th), Nigel Adkins' side are unbeaten in the three games the new boss has been in charge of - all of them on the road. Last weekend they won a crucial clash at Sunderland.
They have lost just one of their last nine League One matches.
However, in saying that, a win for ninth-placed Town this weekend would leapfrog them above Charlton and, while Town continue their 'on paper' relatively decent run-in, Adkins' side still have to play Hull, Peterborough and Lincoln - all at The Valley.
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They will have a big say in the play-off and promotion race.
MEET THE GAFFER
Nigel Adkins is an experienced boss who has managed both Southampton and Reading in the Premier League.
Adkins took Southampton from League One to the Premier League with back-to-back promotions in between 2010 and 2012 and he twice got Scunthorpe promoted to the Championship.
His appointment at the Valley - succeeding Lee Bowyer - came just 16 days after Paul Cook became Ipswich Town manager, last month.
As a player, he was a goalkeeper and played in the same Wigan team as Cook, between 1986 and 1988. Adkins played almost 250 Football League games for the Latics and Tranmere. As a manager he has a win ratio of almost 43% with the six clubs he has managed.
Speaking ahead of this weekend's game, Adkins said: “I went to watch Wimbledon against Ipswich on Tuesday evening. They’re having a challenging period but one thing I can guarantee is it’s going to be just as tough as it was against Sunderland for us. They’re going to be really fired up for the game because they’re like us. We’re very close in the league table, they’re pushing for the play-off positions and so are we.
“Having played with Paul, and knowing him over the years, I know that his team are going to be fully committed so we’ve got to be right up for the battle."
HEAD TO HEAD
Charlton and Ipswich Town have met on 53 previous occasions with the Addicks winning 19, Town 23 and the remaining 11 games ending in draws.
The reverse fixture saw Charlton come out on top with a 2-0 win at Portman Road in November thanks to the goals of Albie Morgan and Omar Bogle.
Charlton's last victory over Ipswich on home turf came in October 2008 with Nicky Bailey opening the scoring before a Martin Cranie own goal levelled matters. However, Moritz Volz's own-goal at the other end earned the points for the hosts.
This weekend's referee is Craig Hicks, who also refereed the reverse fixture in November.
Matt Holland played for both Town and the Addicks. The popular midfielder spent six seasons at both clubs.
And combined, he played more than 500 times for Ipswich and Charlton, scoring 60 goals in the process.
DID YOU KNOW?
In the comedy series, Only Fools & Horses, Nicholas Lyndhurst's character, Rodney - full name Rodney Charlton Trotter - is named after the famous Australian actor Rod Taylor, and Charlton Athletic, his mother Joan Mavis Trotter's favourite football team!