Hull come to Portman Road with one defeat in 15

IPSWICH Town face a stiff test tomorrow when they play Hull City in a Championship fixture at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm).

The visitors have not lost an away game since September with their last match on their travels resulting in a 5-1 win at Scunthorpe.

They have suffered just one defeat in their last 15 league games and that was on New Year’s Day.

With Ipswich in buoyant mood after pocketing 13 points from the last 15 on offer including a 6-0 win at Doncaster on Tuesday, two in-form clubs will be battling it out in front of what is expected to be a good-sized home crowd.

When asked the secret of his splendid away form, Hull manager Nigel Pearson, who was edged out of the Town job by Jim Magilton in June 2006, replied:

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“We’re a team that’s hard to beat. We’ve got more match winners than we had before but no matter who you are, you’ve got to work hard.

“When we’ve come unstuck on the road, the common denominator has been that we didn’t work hard enough and we weren’t competitive enough.

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“Whatever our run is though, it doesn’t matter. It’s about the next game.

“Ipswich are going to be tough because they’re a team that will pose a stern test.

“Paul Jewell has had an impact and that’s always what you want with a new manager.

“He’s been successful in his career and I’ve got a lot of respect for him but it will be about what we do tomorrow.”

Both clubs still have outside hopes of making the play-offs with Pearson saying it’s difficult to know how many teams are in the promotion mix.

“It’s been a very interesting league so far and whether you like the play-off situation or not, it does create interest and keeps any number of sides in the hunt.

“We’ve got a lot of work still to do, there’s no doubt about that.

“Every time we play there will be people talking about how it will be a crucial game but that really is how it is.

“We’ve started to make in-roads but it doesn’t take much to set you back.

“My assistant Craig Shakespeare went to Ipswich’s win at Doncaster and results like that happen sometimes.

“But even then, Ipswich’s form has been pretty good and we will have to be at our best to beat them in what should be interesting game.”

Ipswich fan James Harper is back in the squad after injury and will probably return to partner Corry Evans in midfield.

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