A team without a boss, the record-setting U's and more promotion rivals - A look at Town's next five games

Paul Lambert wants to sign a striker on transfer deadline day

Paul Lambert's Ipswich Town side have dropped to 12th in League One - their next five games are crucial if they are to turn things around - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town have dropped to 12th in the League One table after their game at Shrewsbury was postponed on Saturday.

The Blues are now five points off the play-off spots, with two games in hand on sixth-placed Sunderland - so they have to start putting some results together.

Here's a look at their next five matches...

Northampton Town players and manager Keith Curle lift the League Two Play-Off Final trophy at Wemble

Keith Curle led Northampton to promotion last season, but was sacked last week - Credit: PA

1) Northampton Town (23rd in League One)

When and where: Portman Road, 7pm, Tuesday February 16

Form: L L D L D

The Cobblers were promoted last season after beating Exeter 4-0 in the play-off final, but have struggled so far this season, and currently sit second-bottom of the table.

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Keith Curle, who led them up, was sacked last week and replaced by Under 18's coach Jon Brady, who is in caretaker charge.

There was no sign of improvement at the weekend though, as they were beaten 2-0 at home by Burton Albion, the only side beneath them in the table.

Prediction: 2-0 Town win

Oxford United manager Karl Robinson. Picture STEVE WALLER

Karl Robinson's Oxford set a club record with nine straight wins earlier this season - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

2) Oxford United (7th)

When and where: Portman Road, 3pm, Saturday February 20

Form: W W L W W

Karl Robinson's men recently set a club record with nine straight wins, a run which was ended in a 3-2 defeat at Doncaster Rovers on February 6, having stretched back to mid-December.

The two sides drew 0-0 when they met at the Kassam Stadium on December 1, shortly before the U's started their winning run.

Town will have to be wary of dangermen Matty Taylor and Olamide Shodipo, who've bagged 19 goals between them so far this season.

Prediction: 1-1 draw

Josh Magennis wheels away after giving the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Picture: Steve Waller
www.stephenwaller.com

- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

3) Hull City (2nd)

When and where: KCOM Stadium, 7pm, Tuesday February 23

Form: L D L W L

They may still be second, but the Tigers have hit the skids a bit in recent games, losing at home to MK Dons on Saturday, and being beaten at basement boys Burton two matches prior to that.

Hull crushed Ipswich 3-0 at Portman Road at the end of November, but have also just lost captain Richie Smallwood for the season with a knee injury.

On paper at least it's a chance to finally beat a top side, but it's a big ask.

Prediction: 2-0 Hull win

Ipswich Town still can't beat their promotion rivals. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

The wheels started to fall off Town's season in the 4-1 defeat at Doncaster Rovers in October

4) Doncaster Rovers (5th)

When and where: Portman Road, 7pm, Saturday February 27

Form: L L W W W

Town's impressive start to the season was ended emphatically by Doncaster in a 4-1 midweek battering back in October, and the Blues have never really recovered.

Doncaster have lost their last two games by a combined score of 7-2 though - 4-1 at Sunderland and 3-1 at Fleetwood - so perhaps they are having a wobble of their own.

Fejiri Okenabirhie, who scored the fourth goal in that October trouncing, is Rovers' leading scorer with ten goals so far this campaign. 

Prediction: 1-1 draw

Gwion Edwards celebrates after scoring early in the 2-0 win against Accrington Stanley. Photo: Steve

Town's 2-0 win over Accrington Stanley in October is probably their best result of the season - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

5) Accrington Stanley (9th)

When and where: The Wham Stadium, 7pm, Tuesday March 2

Form:  D L D W D

You could argue that Town's 2-0 home win over Stanley, a game after that 4-1 tonking of Blackpool at the seaside in October, is actually the Blues' best result of the season - which demonstrates just how much Ipswich have struggled this campaign.

Accrington remain the highest-ranked team Ipswich have beaten in 2020/21, and they're having an impressive campaign thus far.

Dion Charles and Colby Bishop are a dangerous attacking duo, while Town's record at the WHAM is not good - they've lost both their matches there.

Prediction: 1-0 Stanley win 

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