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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

‘The beauty is that there’s nothing in it’ – Lambert

PUBLISHED: 06:00 02 February 2019

Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert made seven signings in the January transfer window. Photo: Ross Halls

Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert made seven signings in the January transfer window. Photo: Ross Halls

Archant

Ipswich Town host Sheffield Wednesday in a Championship match this afternoon (3pm). STUART WATSON previews the action.

Ipswich Town signed right-back James Bree on loan from Aston Villa on deadline day. He could make his debut today. Photo: ITFCIpswich Town signed right-back James Bree on loan from Aston Villa on deadline day. He could make his debut today. Photo: ITFC

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says he is not looking through the fixture list and plotting where the wins are going to come.

The Blues are seven points adrift of safety at the foot of the Championship table with 17 games to go – starting with today’s visit of Sheffield Wednesday.

With Bolton, Reading, Rotherham and Wigan all in equally poor form at the bottom end of the table it looks as though someone will beat the drop on a far lower total than the average.

MORE: ‘That’s a situation I’ll have to manage’ - Lambert happy to land Bree despite loan conundrum

Collin Quaner could return to the starting XI after an impressive showing off the bench in last weekend's 2-1 loss at Aston Villa. Photo: Steve WallerCollin Quaner could return to the starting XI after an impressive showing off the bench in last weekend's 2-1 loss at Aston Villa. Photo: Steve Waller

Something like six victories and six draws could be enough for the Blues to beat the drop.

“No, I don’t look through the fixtures like that,” said Lambert, whose team head to Norwich next Sunday before facing Derby (h), Stoke (h) and Wigan (a).

“I just go and try and win every game. I always think I can win every game. It doesn’t matter who I’m playing against.

“But that’s me having been brought up that way, I’ve always been like that. I don’t look at games and think ‘I’m not going to win that one, I’m going to lose that one’. No, I think I can win.

MORE: ‘Sometimes the table can lie... I don’t think we’re a bottom three team’ - Lambert believes in his side

“We’re in the fight. Until somebody says we’re out of it you keep fighting for everything.

“Supporters expect it, I expect it, the players expect it, the football club expects it, so we’ll go and fight for everything. I don’t care who it is, home or away I don’t care, I’m up for the fight and I’ve got a group of lads who are up for the fight.”

Bolton and Reading drew 1-1 in midweek. Asked if he took heart from the fact no-one was pulling clear, Lambert – whose side have just had defeats at Blackburn and Aston Villa – replied: “Absolutely, I think that’s the beauty of it, there’s nothing in it. If you can get a good week everything turns on its head.

Ipswich Town stopped Everton recalling loan defender Matthew Pennington and sending him to Derby County this week. Paul Lambert will have to leave out one of his six loan players this afternoon. Photo: PAIpswich Town stopped Everton recalling loan defender Matthew Pennington and sending him to Derby County this week. Paul Lambert will have to leave out one of his six loan players this afternoon. Photo: PA

MORE: ‘I would be massively interested’ – Will Keane open to idea of permanent Ipswich Town switch

“The pleasing thing for me is that we’re playing well enough. We’re going into games thinking we can win. I think that’s important. While you have that belief that we can go and do it, then you’ve a better chance of winning games.

“The feeling in the place is certainly not one of doom and gloom and depression. Far from it. It’s is really vibrant and the support’s incredibly vibrant. Training is upbeat. The spirit is unbelievable. If we keep that, we’ve got a better chance.”

MORE: One in, one out and the deals that didn’t happen at Ipswich Town on deadline day

He added: “When you come in mid-season at any time it’s difficult because it’s not your group of lads that you inherit. But once we get a right good hit at this hopefully it’ll be a different story.

“Whatever league this club’s in (next season), then we’ll certainly rebuild it and make it better.”

MORE: ‘I don’t think it’s worked out very well for him’ – Lambert discusses future of wantaway left-back Jonas Knudsen

Steve Bruce takes charge of Sheffield Wednesday for the first time today. Photo: PASteve Bruce takes charge of Sheffield Wednesday for the first time today. Photo: PA

Opposition lowdown

Last five finishes: 15th, 4th, 6th, 13th, 16th (all Championship)

Manager: Steve Bruce (Feb ‘19) P0

Last game: L 3-0 Chelsea (a) – FA Cup

Last 10 games: LWWLD DDWWL

MORE: Marcus Evans big interview: What relegation would mean to Town

Deadline day signings: Iorfa (Wolves, undisc), Aarons, Lazaar (both Newcastle, loan)

Most league starts: 28: Reach; 27: Lees; 25: Bannan; 23: Dawson; 21: Pelupessy

Top-scorers: 8: Joao; 7: Reach; 5: Fletcher; 4: Matias

Margins of victory: 1 (x10), 2 (x1)

Margins of defeat: 1 (x5), 2 (x4), 3+ (4)

MORE: Marcus Evans big interview: There have been offers to buy Town, but I’m glad I didn’t sell

Last meeting

Sheff Weds 2 Ipswich Town 1

Date: Saturday, August 25, 2018

Toto Nsiala (40) cancelled out Lucas Joao’s opener (16) before being shown an extremely harsh red card for a tackle on Fernando Forestieri (75). Joao subsequently scored another header as the Blues’ set-piece Achilles’ heel struck again.

MORE: Marcus Evans big interview: Why and how Town owner will be ‘more hands-on’

Stat attack

81% – Town’s pass accuracy in 2-1 loss at Villa

25 – Games Dominic Iorfa played for Town (17/18)

9 – Sheffield Wednesday are the ninth club Steve Bruce has managed: Sheffield United, Huddersfield, Wigan (twice), Palace, Birmingham, Sunderland, Hull, Villa.

MORE: Marcus Evans big interview: Town’s budget is ‘14th, 15th in Championship’

Ipswich Town team news

– New signing James Bree is likely to make his first Ipswich appearance after signing on loan from Aston Villa on deadline day.

– His arrival means one of the Blues’ other five loan players will need to drop out of the squad. Matthew Pennington or Callum Elder could potentially make way.

– Collin Quaner is likely to come back into the starting line-up after impressing off the bench at Aston Villa.

MORE: Marcus Evans big interview: ‘You can make it work on a conservative budget in the Championship’

– Paul Lambert says the Blues are carrying ‘one or two little knocks’ into the game against the Owls.

– Emyr Huws will miss out having had fluid on his calf.

– Jack Lankester remains sidelined after picking up a back injury.

– Grant Ward’s season was ended by a knee injury while Tom Adeyemi is still out with an Achilles problem.

Sheffield Wednesday team news

– Dominic Iorfa could make his first Wednesday start against his former club after joining the Owls on deadline day.

– Rolando Aarons and Achraf Lazaar joined on loan from Newcastle and could also be involved.

– Keiren Westwood has been restored in goal having been sidelined for much of the season by former Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay.

MORE: Marcus Evans big interview: Why I didn’t spend in January 2015

Opposition star man

Lucas Joao scored both goals as the Owls beat Ipswich 2-1 in August, with the wide forward bringing a combination of pace and power to the Wednesday front line. He leads the club’s scoring charts with eight goals and has also contributed one assist.

Betting

Ipswich 21/10

Draw 21/10

Sheff Weds 13/8

Referee

Oliver Langford (West Midlands)

Stuart’s prediction

Owls don’t score many. Town’s passing game improving.

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