Town after first ‘four-timer’ in over six years
VICTORY at Oakwell against Barnsley today (kick-off 3pm) will see Ipswich Town win four consecutive league games for the first time since 2004.
Having seen off Doncaster Rovers and Sheffield United at home and Derby County away, Town’s tails will be up as they go into battle against the Tykes.
It was back in the 2004/05 campaign under the management of Joe Royle when Ipswich fans were last treated to a ‘four-timer’ with home victories over Preston, Sheffield United and Leeds and an away success at Burnley.
Current manager Paul Jewell is expected to keep an unchanged team again barring any late hic-cups from players who have returned from midweek international duty.
The boss is pleased with the group that he inherited from previous manager Roy Keane that have shown so much more self belief over the last few matches.
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“The ability was there, but confidence was low,” said Jewell.
“They are a quiet group, but that appears to be the trend more these days.
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“I’m really pleased with their efforts, but it doesn’t mean that I want them to be happy all the while.
“I can only select 11 players to start games, and I want those who have been left out to be striving to get back into the team.
“Last Saturday against Sheffield United the conditions were horrible and you don’t want to lose out because of the conditions.
“We played some good stuff in the second half when the confidence improved and it was a good win.
“But we must be careful not to get carried away – at the moment it’s building blocks to build for the future.
“I don’t know of any team that has stayed up with 37 points – so we need more.”
Jewell, who was impressed with what he saw in Wednesday’s reserve win at Oxford, knows it will be tough against Barnsley.
He went on: “I was watching a video of one of their recent home games and it reminded me of the old Baseball Ground at Derby.
“They have a good record at Oakwell with Mark Robins doing a great job.
“There is no rhyme or reason to life in the Championship and it will be a difficult place to go.”
Shane O’Connor will be missing after being struck down with appendicitis symptoms while Tamas Priskin is in line for his 50th Town appearance, and Connor Wickham is set for his 50th league game.
Today’s likely squads
Barnsley: Steele, Shackell, Hassell, Hill, Foster, Trippier, Doyle, Mellis, Noble-Lazurus, Arismendi, Colace, Haynes, Nouble, O’Connor, Butterfield, Lovre, Preece, O’Brien, Gray.
Ipswich Town: Fulop, Lee-Barrett, Edwards, McAuley, Delaney, Kennedy, Smith, O’Dea, Martin, Leadbitter, Bullard, Norris, Drury, Healy, Civelli, Peters, Hyam, Wickham, Priskin, Scotland.
Referee: Mr D Drysdale (Lincolnshire)
Last time Ipswich won four consecutive league games:
October 30 2004: Preston North End (h) 3-0 (Kuqi, Miller, Bent).
November 2 2004: Sheffield United (h) 5-1 (Miller (p), Kuqi 2, Naylor, Westlake)
November 6 2004: Burnley (a) 0-2 (Bent 2)
November 13 2004: Leeds United (h) 1-0 (Bent)
Tamas Priskin Ipswich appearance record:
League 24+16 subs = 40 (5 goals), FA Cup 2 subs = 2, League Cup 7 = 7 (4 goals).
Total 31+18 = 49 (9 goals)
Connor Wickham Ipswich league appearances:
17 starts, 32 substitute appearances (6 goals)