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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

'I will still look to make it exciting' - Lambert on new-look Town and his return to Blackburn

PUBLISHED: 06:00 19 January 2019

New Huddersfield Town loanee Collin Quaner (left) led the line as Ipswich Town beat Rotherham 1-0 at Portman Road last weekend. Photo: Steve Waller

New Huddersfield Town loanee Collin Quaner (left) led the line as Ipswich Town beat Rotherham 1-0 at Portman Road last weekend. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town take on Blackburn Rovers, at Ewood Park, in a Championship match this afternoon (3pm ko). STUART WATSON previews the action.

Hull City loanee Will Keane (left) has also added some physicality and experience to the Ipswich Town side. Photo: Steve WallerHull City loanee Will Keane (left) has also added some physicality and experience to the Ipswich Town side. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert insists he won’t abandon his principles in the search for points.

The rock-bottom Blues have played a possession brand of football under Lambert that, while not always yielding wins, has increased the entertainment value for re-enthused supporters.

MORE: ‘I’ll be here next season whatever happens’ – Lambert commits future to Ipswich Town

Last weekend, however, a new-look team ground out an ugly 1-0 home win against fellow-relegation battlers Rotherham at Portman Road to close the gap to safety back to seven points.

Alan Judge could make his Ipswich Town debut at Blackburn Rovers - the club where he started his career. Photo: ITFCAlan Judge could make his Ipswich Town debut at Blackburn Rovers - the club where he started his career. Photo: ITFC

The likes of James Collins, Will Keane and Collin Quaner have been recruited this month to add some physicality and experience to what Lambert had described as a ‘lightweight’ team.

MORE: ‘If one comes up we’ll look at it’- Lambert open to further January moves

“Quaner’s got an incredible touch for a big lad and a good feel for the ball with good feet – he’s more than just a big guy,” said Lambert, speaking ahead of today’s game at mid-table Blackburn Rovers.

“We will still play the way I think is the right way and I will still look to make it exciting. We won’t start playing long balls or anything like that.”

Bradley Dack has scored 13 goals from midfield for Blackburn Rovers this season. Photo: PABradley Dack has scored 13 goals from midfield for Blackburn Rovers this season. Photo: PA

Alan Judge became Town’s sixth signing of a hectic January transfer window this week, joining for a nominal fee from Championship rivals Brentford. The five-cap Republic of Ireland international, who was on the verge of a Premier League move prior to breaking his leg at Portman Road in April 2016, has been earmarked for the No.10 role.

MORE: Big interview: Alan Judge on injury comeback, Hyam and rebuilding his career at Ipswich

“He’s not had many games (seven starts and 16 substitute appearances this season), but has been playing a bit more than some of the other (new) guys,” said Lambert. “He will be in the squad.

“He’s a good footballer, very intelligent and makes the simple balls really good.”

Former Ipswich Town fans' favourite Tony Mowbray has Blackburn in a solid mid-table position. Photo: PAFormer Ipswich Town fans' favourite Tony Mowbray has Blackburn in a solid mid-table position. Photo: PA

Lambert spent six months in charge of Blackburn during the 2015/16 season, guiding them to a 15th place finish before activating a release clause in his contract.

MORE: ‘You have been incredible... we need you until the very end’ - Lambert’s open letter to Town fans

“It was really short but I really enjoyed my time there,” he said.

“It’s a good club that maybe had lost its way a little bit in certain things and I’m looking forward to going back.

“I watched their game on Tuesday (4-2 home defeat to Newcastle, after extra-time, in an FA Cup third round replay) and they did well.

“It’s a tough game but hopefully it is for them as well. We have to go and do what we’ve been doing and try and win.”

Stat attack

2 – Home defeats in 26 for Blackburn

12 – Successive away league games Town have conceded two or more

1991 – Ipswich Town haven’t won a league game at Ewood Park since 1991 (D3 L7)

Opposition lowdown

Last five finishes: 2nd (League One), 22nd, 15th, 9th, 8th (all Championship)

Manager: Tony Mowbray (Feb ‘17: P102 W48 D32 L22)

Home form: W5 D6 L2 F18 L15

Last 10 games: DWDWL LLDDW

Last game: Tues: L 4-2 aet Newcastle (h), FA Cup 3rd replay

Last home attendance: 14,228

Margins of victory: 1 (x7), 2 (x2), 3+ (x2)

Margins of defeat: 1 (x3), 2 (x3), 3+ (x3)

Top-scorers: Dack (13), Graham (9), Mulgrew (8), Armstrong (7)

Last meeting

Ipswich Town 2 Blackburn 2

Date: Saturday, August 4, 2018

Substitute Tayo Edun’s cross crept in at the far post in stoppage-time to salvage Town an opening day point against newly-promoted Rovers. Paul Hurst’s side led through Gwion Edwards’ early header, only to concede goals from Danny Graham (20) and Bradley Dack (29).

Stuart’s prediction

Blackburn Rovers 2 Ipswich Town 1

Rovers looked decent in midweek. New-look Town may need some more time to get up to speed.

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