Pragmatic Ipswich take on gung-ho Peterborough – time will tell who is left with the most regrets

Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town - Credit: Archant

TIME will tell which ethos is best.

Ipswich Town travel to Peterborough United in a potentially relegation-defining game at the bottom end of the Championship table tomorrow – the Blues could open up an eight-point gap on their East Anglian rivals with victory, or slip to within two points of the second-bottom outfit.

Posh boss Darren Ferguson insists his side will come out all guns blazing as he sticks to his ‘we’ll score more than you philosophy’.

Admitting that his side needs a victory at London Road to stand a chance of beating the drop, he said: “If we are going to fail to avoid relegation – and I still don’t think we will – we may as well do it with a fight and by having a real go at teams.”

Blues boss Mick McCarthy believes the best way to avoid the drop is through organisation, hard work and grinding out ugly 1-0 wins.

Having already described tomorrow’s match as ‘massive’, he said recently: “It’s great when opposition managers say they know they’re going to be in for a tough game against us. If we do stay up – and we’re a long way from being safe yet – then maybe we can start again next year and embellish that with a bit more football.

“But it’s substance over style that is required at this moment in time. It has to be.”

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The erratic Peterborough have scored three or more goals in a league game on seven occasions this season and have beaten the likes of Cardiff, Hull, Leicester and Blackburn along the way. Yet their 63 goals conceded – the joint-worst in the division – has contributed to 10 defeats on home turf.

Town, by contrast, have dragged opponents into fine-margin battles – scoring just two goals in their last six games, but also keeping three clean sheets.

It’s rarely been pretty, but it’s heralded a steady flow of points since McCarthy’s arrival – 35 from a possible 69. That’s 10 more than Peterborough have claimed during that time.

Town have tried the attack-minded approach before under previous manager Paul Jewell, of course. And it was their soft underbelly which put them in this position.

You only have to look at the 7-1 thrashing at London Road last season for proof of that. Little more than 18 months later and you certainly can’t see a repeat scoreline tomorrow.

Will Posh regret not taking a more pragmatic approach come the final standings? Or will Town look back and wish they’d taken more risks in certain matches?

Tomorrow will give us a better indication.