Meet the opposition: Can Town make it four on the spin at Gillingham?
- Credit: PA
MIKE BACON takes a look at Town's opponents... Gillingham
TOUGH TEST AT GILLS
Ipswich Town head to Gillingham this weekend looking for a fourth straight win and a winning start for new boss Paul Cook. It's a 1pm kick-off.
Town are sixth in the current League One form standings (last six games), but their Kent opponents are not far behind in ninth, having won three of their last six, including an exciting 3-2 win over MK Dons in midweek.
This will be a tough opening test for Cook's team. However, confidence should be sky-high after wins over Hull, Doncaster and Accrington Stanley - two of them on the road.
Town are currently seventh, Gillingham 14th.
LAST TIME THEY MET
- 1 Forensic teams at Woodbridge house after 'incident'
- 2 Major police probe after man and woman found dead in Woodbridge
- 3 First pictures: Which Suffolk pubs are preparing to reopen on April 12?
- 4 Matchday Recap: Goalless again in first game of a new era at Town
- 5 Tudor farmhouse with separate annexe is again for sale for £1.275m
- 6 Town's country park remains closed after woman's body discovered
- 7 Murder suspect arrested after woman found dead at country park
- 8 'It was a surprise for a lot of us... but these are exciting times' - Gill on takeover
- 9 Suspected drink driver charged after police dog tracks down man hiding in a ditch
- 10 Managing director of popular zoos steps down after 28 years
Teddy Bishop's late strike settled issues between these two sides at Portman Road back in October as Ipswich moved up to third with a 1-0 win over the Gills.
At the time, it left Gillingham boss Steve Evans - never a shrinking violet - incandescent with rage in the post-match interviews as his team slipped to 16th.
“Privately they knew they had a battering,” said Evans that cold October evening on the Portman Road pitch after the game.
“The best team lost, by some distance. Second half it was one-way traffic. They were playing on counter attacks. They got a bit of help with some of the decisions. I am not questioning the integrity of the referee but it was a poor performance from him, it’s as bad as it gets."
LOAN RANGER JORDAN
Jordan Graham is currently heading the Gills' score charts, with eight league goals.
The Coventry-born 25-year-old had two loan spells with Ipswich - in 2013 and 2018/19.
He was on Wolves' books for six seasons, firstly on loan. And while at Molineux he was farmed out on loan most seasons, to Oxford, Fulham, Town and Gillingham, before Gills boss Steve Evans signed him on a permanent deal last August.
He has England U16 and U17 caps, as well as having played for the Republic of Ireland U15s. He is currently enjoyed one of his most productive scoring spells.
Steve Evans, the Gillingham boss, is a larger than life character.
Born in Glasgow, he speaks his mind and has courted controversy in the past - away from the football field.
However, on the pitch, he hasn't done badly, leading Rotherham to two successive promotions from League Two and One into the Championship.
And he kept the Millers there during that first season back in 2014/15, with a game to spare, infamously wearing a sombrero, shorts and sandals to the fixture against Leeds United at Elland Road on the final day of the season in celebration!
His biggest managerial appointment came at Leeds, where he joined the Championship club in 2015, replacing Uwe Rösler. He took charge of a Leeds side one point off the relegation zone, however, he managed to guide them to a 13th-place finish.
But just seven months later Evans, along with his assistant Paul Raynor, was sacked by owner Massimo Cellino - the sixth manager sacked by Cellino in two years!
GOALS, GOALS, GOALS
Gillingham games certainly don't lack entertainment.
They've scored 42 and conceded 44, an aggregate of 86 goals for and against in their League One games.
Few teams can match that - Ipswich for example have a goal aggregate so far this season of 64, that's 35 for and 29 against!
DID YOU KNOW?
Gillingham first claimed their Football League status back in 1920 but 17 years later they were voted out of the picture, with Ipswich Town replacing them!