Ipswich Town set to be backed by biggest away following in league for over a decade, at Fulham
Promotion-chasing Ipswich Town are set to be backed by their biggest away following in the league for more than a decade, in the crunch Championship clash at Fulham on Saturday.
About 4,000 supporters will make the short trip to Craven Cottage – around 100 tickets remained yesterday – buoyed by fourth-placed Town’s return to form on Tuesday, Mick McCarthy’s men impressing in the 2-1 home win over Sheffield Wednesday.
The Blues faithful have already turned out in force on several occasions this season, including at Rotherham, Nottingham Forest and Derby, while 5,550 watched the Blues’ FA Cup draw at Southampton last month.
Last season, the Blues took 2,550 fans to Reading, almost surpassing the 2,572 that travelled to Newcastle in 2010, but Saturday’s number will be the largest in the league since January 2005, when 4,310 attended a 1-1 draw at Reading.
That is despite the predicted disruption on the rail network this weekend with most of the line to London being closed at weekends, buses replacing trains between Manningtree and Shenfield until March 22.
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Steve Doe, treasurer of the official Ipswich Town Supporters’ Club, said: “There was only 17,000 at Portman Road against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night and a lot of people who went to the (home games) against Southampton and Derby after Christmas have probably said ‘we’re not coming back’.
“The travelling support has always been very good and we took 1,800 to Rotherham on Saturday which was a new ground to visit.
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“I suspect a lot of fans won’t have been to Craven Cottage either (Town have only played there three times in 41 years) and it promises to be a good atmosphere.
“The proportion of fans that go to away games who go in good voice and are generally fairly lively, is quite high.
“After four or five lean years, there is definitely a good feeling among fans at the moment.”
Among the travelling fans will be a group of supporters making their way to the game on a boat down the River Thames.
Supporters’ Club chairman Liz Edwards added: “To have 4,000 fans defying travel disruptions, including a group sailing down the Thames, is fantastic.
“What a great chance for us all to get behind the team and keep the dream very much alive.”