'We've got to embrace the occasion' - Morsy on Sunderland clash

Sam Morsy weaves past Oldham Athletics Davis Keillor-Dunn.

Sam Morsy weaves past Davis Keillor-Dunn. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town captain Sam Morsy believes things are starting to come together nicely ahead of two crunch League One fixtures.

Following an eight-game winless start to the season, Paul Cook's new-look squad has won eight, drawn five and lost just two of their last 15 fixtures to move up to ninth in the League One table and progress in both the FA Cup and Papa John's Trophy.

On Saturday, the Blues take on seventh-place Sunderland at the Stadium of Light before then hosting third-place Rotherham at Portman Road on Tuesday night. 

"The first game I got to see was Bolton at home (a 5-2 defeat) when I was still suspended," said transfer deadline day signing Morsy.

"That was about 11 (league) games ago and I’d like to think we are a million miles from that position now.

"Over these last 11 games we’ve gone from the relegation zone to ninth in the league, so we’re slowly creeping up. 

“We are now a more consistent team, we’re a more solid team, we’re a completely different team to the one at the start of the season. 

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“We’ve still got a long way to go, there’s still room for improvements, but we’ve completely steadied the ship. Now what we’re all looking for, are those consecutive wins at some point to propel us up the league even more. 

“Hopefully everyone can see a good team starting to form."

Sunderland, by contrast, have hit a real sticky patch following a fantastic start. Lee Johnson's men have lost their last three league games, to Charlton (1-0 at home), Rotherham (5-1 away) and Sheffield Wednesday (3-0 away), and since had poor results against League Two sides Mansfield (1-0 at home) and Bradford (1-1 at home) in the cups. 

“You don’t have that sort of tremendous start to the season (14 wins from 17) if you’re not a good team," said Morsy. "They’ve got good players, a good manager and it's going to be a tough game. We're going to have to be at our best. 

"We’ve just got to embrace the occasion and give it everything we’ve got. Hopefully that will be good enough on the day. 

“I’m really looking forward to it. I've never played there before and I obviously didn't get the chance to play in a derby game against them for Middlesbrough.

"Our fans will travel in their numbers again (2,000 Town fans set to be part of 30,000+ crowd) and hopefully we can make it another good away day for them."

The Blues skipper added: "We’ve got two tough games now, but if we can get into the play-off places at some point in December that would be brilliant. It’s all about momentum isn’t it?  

“There will be teams higher than us who will have a spiral down and there will be teams below who are going to spiral up. We just have to make sure we stay on the up. It’s just one game at a time really. 

“Rotherham will be another tough game but we seem to love the Tuesday nights don’t we?! But we’ll get onto that one after the Sunderland game."

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