Ipswich go in search of a record

THE Blues go record-hunting tonight as they seek their ninth home win on the bounce for the first time in 25 years.It was way back in March that Town last tasted anything but a victory at home, when they surprisingly lost to Southend United a week after beating QPR.

By Derek Davis

THE Blues go record-hunting tonight as they seek their ninth home win on the bounce for the first time in 25 years.

It was way back in March that Town last tasted anything but a victory at home, when they surprisingly lost to Southend United a week after beating QPR.

Current Town boss Jim Magilton is rightly proud that his team are within touching distance of setting the best streak since 1982.

That run began with a 5-2 win over Southampton on February 16 when Alan Brazil memorably scored all five goals, and it continued with wins over Everton, Aston Villa, Brighton, Coventry City, West Ham, Stoke, Manchester United and Middlesbrough before finally succumbing at Portman Road to Nottingham Forest.

The year before Bobby Robson's UEFA Cup-winning Ipswich side went on a magnificent 46-game unbeaten streak that included 15 consecutive home wins, and victory tonight would match the best at Portman Road since then.

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With a bumper 27,000 crowd anticipated tonight Magilton is hoping the Blues support pushes them towards this landmark.

He said: “It will be lovely if that happens.

“We have to use the disappointment of Saturday to be positive against Colchester and take the game to them.

“Tuesday nights at Portman Road are always special occasions and I expect it to be a great atmosphere.

“As a player I used to love playing under the floodlights here because it was always a superb atmosphere.

“Colchester will be coming with belief that they can win it and it should be an exciting night.

“We need all our fans behind us to help us get the record and that would be marvellous.”

Town will need to be at their best for the local derby but have already ruled out midfielder Tommy Miller, who turned an ankle in the draw at Loftus Road on Saturday.

With Sylvain Legwinski expected to keep his place, Pablo Counago coming in for Miller could be the only change.

Magilton said: “I won't be making too many changes although Tommy won't be fit.

“Sylvain will start. He has done very well in the past two away games.

“Dean Bowditch and Liam Trotter are in with a chance of being involved. They have been flying in training and did very well against Norwich in the reserves last week so we will have a think about them.”

Teenage striker Billy Clarke should keep his place even though Magilton was impressed with Gary Roberts' contribution when he went on as Miller's replacement.

He said: “Gary did well when he came on as a sub. It is about building blocks and regaining confidence so I was pleased with him on Saturday.

“Billy has done great. I was toying with leaving Billy and Owen out on Saturday after their international excursion because there is an effect, without a doubt.

“Owen looked lethargic but after the rest he will be fine.”

Tonight's squads

Ipswich Town: Alexander, Supple, Wright, Harding, Wilnis, Bruce, de Vos, Casement, Legwinski, Roberts, Garvan, Walters, Bowditch, Trotter, Counago, Lee, Peters and Clarke.

Colchester United: Davison, Balogh, Baldwin, Connolly, Elokobi, Yeates, Izzet, Jackson, Granville, Platt, Lisbie, Sheringham, Virgo, Watson, McLeod, Guttridge, Duguid, White and Gerken.

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