A tough run begins, bad memories hanging around and a tale of two Bishops - Town take on Accrington
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town take on Accrington Stanley this afternoon. ANDY WARREN looks ahead to the game.
And so it begins
After the brief respite of a midweek off, Paul Lambert’s men begin a run of six games in 18 days (or eight in 25, whichever is worse) when Accrington Stanley visit this afternoon.
The Town boss laughed when asked yesterday whether this period was ‘too much’ for his side before again discussing how there were too many games in too short a space of time.
He said: “It’s really a mad situation, there are too many games. You talk about people’s welfare in the game and recovery and everything like that. That’s not looking after players, that’s just cramming everything in to get things finished.”
Town’s next six games are all in League One, after which nearly a quarter of the season will have been played.
Lambert rejected suggestions that the Blues’ standing after that run will give a good indication of where his side are at, though.
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“Not really,” he said. “It’s one game at a time and we’re doing really well at the minute.
“We’re doing everything really good. Seven games from now isn’t going to tell me where we are, the end of the season will tell us where we are, and that’s most important.”
Ipswich beat Accrington 4-1 in January to move back to the top of the League One table but, mention Stanley in these parts and minds instantly think of the Blues’ struggles at the Wham Stadium under Lambert.
The FA Cup loss in January 2019 was nothing short of a disaster, leading to Lambert calling out his players and insisting he knew which members of his squad he wanted to dispense with. Jordan Spence was the first of those to move on, never playing for Town again.
Their return to the Wham was shown live on Sky, a year ago this weekend. That was a disaster, too, as the Blues’ unbeaten start to the campaign crumbled away.
From that day, Town won just six of their remaining 24 league games and tumbled down the table.
Another home win will help banish those memories a little more.
Stanley’s knives are out
It’s early days, but John Coleman’s men appear to mean business this season.
They sit sixth, having won their last two league games and beginning the campaign with a 2-0 victory over promotion-hopefuls, Peterborough.
“Tough game,” Lambert said of this clash. “It’s really early, but it’s a tough game.
“We know we have to play well, we know we have to take part in the game. But we are playing well and we’ll try everything we can to win.
“We can’t match teams physically, so we have to try and play football.
“In this moment we’re playing really good football, we look really confident with the ball and we try everything we can.
“Each and every game is so different and John Coleman’s got a good team at Accrington, but we’ll try and win.”
It’s surely going to be a relatively simple selection process for Lambert this weekend. And so it should be, following a 4-1 victory at Blackpool last time out.
Stephen Ward’s out once again, meaning Myles Kenlock will get another run at things at left-back, with the only real decision to make coming in midfield.
Jon Nolan returns from the calf injury which kept him out of the Blackpool win so, given the fact the former Shrewsbury man was in form before being sidelined, there’s every chance he will come back into the side in place of Emyr Huws.
Teddy Bishop’s back problem hasn’t turned out to be anything to worry about, meaning he’s good to go once again following another goal-scoring display.
A tale of two Bishops
Teddy won’t be the only Bishop on the pitch this weekend and, while the Blues will be looking to their midfield rocket to drive them forward, they will also need to be wary of one clad in red.
Colby Bishop, a striker signed from non-league Leamington in 2019, has proven tough to handle for the Blues during their meetings to date.
He’s physical, moves well and is capable of popping up in dangerous areas, as proven by the two goals he scored against Town in the previously-mentioned game a year ago.
His first was the result of slack marking which left Gwion Edwards dealing with Accrington’s aerial threat at the back post, where he was able to head home, before Toto Nsiala collided with Bishop before half-time, allowing the striker to step up and convert the resulting penalty himself.
They will need to look after him better this time around.