Match preview: It’s been miserable for the Millers – but a word of warning...
- Credit: PA
Ipswich Town take on Rotherham United, at The New York Stadium, in a Championship match today (3pm ko). Here’s all you need to know.
It’s a dead rubber
Easter weekend wins against Burton (2-1 away) and Newcastle (3-1 at home) – the first time Mick McCarthy’s men have recorded back-to-back league victories all season – ensured Town are mathematically safe from Championship relegation with three games to go. The Blues could now finish in the top half and will certainly be looking to avoid 16th place or lower as that would be their lowest end position since the late 1950s.
Rotherham’s relegation was sealed at the start of this month. After completing the ‘Great Escape’ under Neil Warnock’s management in 2015/16, it’s been a torrid campaign for the South Yorkshire side under Alan Stubbs, Kenny Jackett (briefly) and now Norwich-born boss Paul Warne.
They’ve claimed just 18 points from 43 games and almost certainly will break the record for the lowest points total since the second-tier was re-branded the Championship in 2004. They are just four goals short of conceding 100 too. Millers fans are waiting to be put out of their misery.
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Word of warning
Rotherham have claimed just one away point from 22 games this season. Guess where that was? That’s right – Portman Road. And even then the Blues needed David McGoldrick to come to the rescue by scoring with a fine 30-yard effort with what was virtually the last kick. Town have lost three of their five games against the Millers, but they did win 5-2 at The New York Stadium in November 2015 as Daryl Murphy bagged a hat-trick.
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“They gave us a good game here and we know, on any given day, the Championship can be turned on its head,” said McCarthy. “I guess that was proved with us on Monday. It seemed unfathomable that we could beat Newcastle after the way we played up there, but we produced a really good performance.
“The Rotherham players will be fighting tooth and nail to get jobs elsewhere or retain their jobs. Sometimes when a team has been relegated they suddenly start finding a bit of form.”
McCarthy will use this game to experiment a little. Teddy Bishop and Jonny Williams come into contention after long-term injuries, teenager Andre Dozzell could get some game-time, while winger Danny Rowe – a £100k signing from non-league Macclesfield in January – is likely to be involved, as is Reading loan striker Dominic Samuel.