MATCH PREVIEW: Yeovil Town are dangerous opponents, warns Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy
- Credit: Archant
Yeovil v Ipswich: Ipswich Town have a chance to quickly put Saturday’s limp 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough behind them with a match at Yeovil Town tonight.
Both teams are seeking victory for very different reasons; the Blues in an attempt to keep their slim play-off hopes alive and the Glovers to move out of the relegation zone.
Ipswich still haven’t won away from home this calendar year (four defeats and two draws in all competitions), while Yeovil are full of confidence following a five-game unbeaten run made up of two wins and three draws.
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy hopes to reward the club’s loyal band of travelling fans with a better performance tonight, though the realistic boss insists that 22nd-placed Yeovil will be no pushovers.
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It took until stoppage-time of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough for the Blues to produce their first meaningful shot on target.
Just under 500 away supporters were at the Riverside Stadium to witness the toothless display, with around 1,000 expected in the away end at the 9,500 capacity Huish Park tonight.
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Victory would keep alive top six hopes and set up two mini Cup Finals against Wigan and Brighton, while a draw or defeat would leave the Suffolk side suddenly looking over their shoulders.
Yeovil – a non-league club as recently as 2003 – are unbeaten in five games though. Manager Gary Johnson, who hails from Newmarket, has brought in several new players to boost his side, with Nottingham Forest loanee Ishmael Miller scoring seven goals in 13 games giving the Somerset outfit a real chance of survival in their first season at second tier level.
“I’ve seen it where teams start playing with a bit of gay abandon because they’ve got nothing to lose,” said McCarthy. “They can be dangerous teams to play.
“I’ve played in teams in the bottom three and I’ve managed team in the bottom three. All of a sudden you get this surge of form and performances.”
McCarthy continued: “The league’s bonkers. Barnsley will have come off at the weekend
absolutely jubilant having beaten Nottingham Forest and then they would have looked at the results and seen Yeovil had beaten form team Sheffield Wednesday (2-0 at home) and Millwall had won at Derby!
“It’s the same at the top. Coming off on Saturday I thought ‘we might be out of this’ but all the others dropped points so we’re not.
“Just keep picking up points where you can and don’t get too carried away if you win and don’t get too disappointed if you lose. Just be consistent.”
Looking back on Saturday’s defeat, the Blues boss added: “I don’t do paralysis by analysis. I don’t like losing, but I’m the ultimate realist and pragmatist. Sometimes you do get beaten by the better side. It happens. We’ve put that to bed and move on to the next one.”
– Target man Kieffer Moore and midfielder Joe Ralls were both sent off in the 1-1 draw at Reading recently. Cardiff loanee Ralls is serving the second game of his three-match ban tonight meaning former Hearts player Ruben Palazuelos will continue to deputise. The Spandiard impressed on his full debut at the weekend having recently been signed following a trial from Finnish club FC Honka. Moore is available again but may have to make do with a place on the bench.
– Everton yesterday recalled John Lundstram from his loan spell, the midfielder having been on the bench for the Glovers of late.
– Shane Duffy (Everton), Duane Holmes (Huddersfield), Tom Lawrence (Manchester United), Adam Morgan (Liverpool) and Ishmael Miller (Nottingham Forest) have all joined on loan in recent weeks to boost the Somerset side. Miller has scored seven goals in 13 games and says he will be fine to play two games in four days, despite managing a hamstring problem.
– Mick McCarthy says he will stick with keeper Dean Gerken, following his mistake leading up to Middlesbrough’s opening goal in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at the Riverside Stadium.
– Christophe Berra hurt himself in a fierce challenge towards the end of that match but has shaken off the knock.
– Frank Nouble is struggling with a tight hamstring and could be replaced by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, McCarthy revealing that the latter is ‘ready to start’.
– McCarthy says he will freshen his side up but won’t make wholesale changes. Crystal Palace loanee Jonny Williams could be handed his full debut while Luke Hyam may make his first start since returning from a hamstring injury.
Gary Johnson, Yeovil manager
“It’s still very tight with all the other teams getting results as well. We’re certainly in there and we probably have dragged a few other teams in towards us so instead of four teams it’s probably six or seven now in the mire at the bottom. I think we’ll need to get around 46/47/48 points to stand a chance.
“But it depends what other teams do, so you just have to worry about yourself and put a run of form together. It’s not about winning the odd game it’s about getting some form over a period of time and I’m pleased to say we’ve got that going.”
1 Marek Stech
2 Luke Ayling
5 Byron Webster
15 Shane Duffy
3 Jamie McAllister
4 Joe Edwards
11 Tom Lawrence
8 Ruben Palazuelos
20 Duane Holmes
27 Ishmael Miller
9 James Hayter
22 Dean Gerken
4 Luke Chambers
6 Christophe Berra
5 Tommy Smith
3 Aaron Cresswell
16 Paul Green
8 Cole Skuse
19 Luke Hyam
26 Paul Taylor
27 S Ebanks-Blake
25 Jonny Williams
LAST MEETING Ipswich 2 Yeovil 1
Ipswich came from behind to win for the second time in four days as they defeated Yeovil Town 2-1 on a Tuesday night last September.
Joel Grant gave the visitors the lead just before half-time with a superb left-foot strike into the top corner.
Daryl Murphy equalised with a scruffy finish at the second attempt after Cole Skuse had headed the ball back across goal. Aaron Cresswell gave the hosts victory with a smart right-foot finish after his initial shot had been blocked.
PREDICTION – 1-1
Yeovil are a far stronger outfit than the one which looked doomed just a few weeks ago. The Glovers have moved to within two points of safety with a five-game unbeaten run consisting of wins against Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster and draws against Millwall, Watford and Reading.
Ipswich haven’t won away this calendar year, but Saturday’s poor performance at Middlesbrough was out of character. It was only their third loss in 13 away league matches. A draw looks most likely.