Ipswich Town will fight fire with fire in top-six decider at Blackburn

Daryl Murphy. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

Daryl Murphy. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ipswich Town will fight fire with fire in their top-six decider at Blackburn Rovers tomorrow lunchtime.

Avoid defeat in the televised clash (12.15pm, Sky Sports) and the Blues will be involved in the Championship play-offs for the first time in a decade. Lose and they could fall agonisingly short if other results go against them.

The ninth-place Lancashire hosts, who have nothing but pride to play for, have a makeshift back four that is leaking goals but a 41-goal strike force in Jordan Rhodes (20) and Rudy Gestede (21). That means attack could be the best form of defence for Mick McCarthy’s men, their own red-hot front two of Daryl Murphy (25 goals) and Freddie Sears (nine for Ipswich, 14 previously for Colchester) a force to be reckoned with.

“The amount of money that has been spent on them (Rhodes and Gestede) in their careers, the amount they are probably being paid and the amount of money that people will offer for them this summer shows how good they are,” said Blues skipper Luke Chambers.

“I think we’ve got the best striker in the division though. Murph’s been absolutely brilliant. When he’s on his game he’s almost unplayable. He’s thriving on that responsibility of being our main man and number nine.

“He’s the strongest player I’ve come up against, his first touch is phenomenal and he can score any type of goal – left foot, right foot, headers. He’s been our talisman this season. If we need something we look to him.”

Blues boss McCarthy said: “Normally, when people start talking up the best strike forces in the division and are expecting goals, it’s inevitably a nil-nil draw. I’ll take that now!

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“We know about their prowess in front of goal, but our strikers are equally as good. I think we’ve got the best striker.”