Tony Mowbray mindful of Town’s attacking talents
TONY Mowbray has warned his players of the attacking threats posed by Ipswich Town as he prepares his Middlesbrough team for tonight’s rearranged match at Portman Road (7.45pm ko).
The Boro boss – and former Ipswich play-off hero – is fully aware of the confidence oozing from Paul Jewell’s men who are looking to make it six straight wins at home.
Mowbray said: “We’re going to Ipswich at a period when their confidence is really high.
“It’s a tough, tough game for us, they’ve won five on the bounce at home and they are playing with a lot of confidence, moving the ball around very well.
“We have to mindful of their talent, players like Chopra can score goals in any game.
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“Lee Martin, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Daryl Murphy, they are all goal threats. They’ve got some big lads coming up from the back for set-plays, so it’s night for concentration and hopefully we can come away with some rewards.”
Mowbray admitted that he was surprised Ipswich were not challenging his own team for a top-six spot.
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He added: “It’s a club that has invested a fair bit of money, they were regarded as one of the favourites at the start of the season.
“I think their confidence will have been hit badly by the 7-1 defeat at Peterborough earlier this season and the 5-2 against Southampton and it’s taken them a while to recover but they’ve got some very good players, they’ve hit some form and confidence is high – they are on a good run.”
The match was originally scheduled for last month but controversially lasted just 38 minutes after referee Dean Whitestone deemed the Portman Road pitch unplayable.
On paper, Middlesbrough are expected to be a tougher test tonight with influential midfielder Barry Robson back from a three-game ban.
Town boss Paul Jewell said: “I think we were the better team (in the original match), but the pitch was getting unplayable down one side. The referee probably called it right and maybe, with hindsight, the game shouldn’t have started.
“They will have a few players back now for the game this time around but that’s life isn’t it?
“They’ve got a big squad Middlesbrough, are fifth in the league and have a good away record, so it’s going to be a tough game.
“Middlesbrough are a side that are suited to sitting back, soaking up pressure and hitting you on the break, but our goals for and against column shows you that’s not our game. We’re at our best on the front foot.”