Preview: Hurst wants his Blues to piece their good moments together as winless Town head to Swansea

Jon Nolan can't get a firm head to the ball early in the second half. Picture: STEVE WALLER W

Jon Nolan can't get a firm head to the ball early in the second half. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

If Ipswich Town are to record their first win of the season at the Liberty Stadium, Paul Hurst knows his side must produce a sustained performance against a confident Swansea side.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The Blues are in south Wales this weekend for their final game prior to the international break, sitting 23rd in the Championship.

They’ve managed six draws from their 11 league games under Hurst but are still winless, having had good spells in many of their contests without being able to convert those periods into three points.

They were 2-0 up at the break at Birmingham a week ago before letting that lead slip from their grasp in a 2-2 draw, while Tuesday night’s 2-0 home loss to Middlesbrough did include a much-improved display after the break.

But Hurst knows those periods of play must come together to create complete performances.

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“I think we’ve had something of a performance in every game but it’s maybe about how long we perform for, then we have to try and turn it into a result,” he said.

“We’ve been trying to do things with a certain style but at the same time, while Ipswich supporters will be making the long journey themselves, there is an element when you’re away from home that it’s a case of trying to come back with something and ensure it’s not a fruitless trip.

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“You always want a performance because if you perform over a period of time then more often than not you will get your reward.”

Under Graham Potter, who made the final shortlist for the Ipswich vacancy prior to Hurst’s appointment, Swansea have grown in confidence as the season goes on.

MORE: ‘We have to understand it’s just another team in our league’ - Hurst wants Blues to play without fear

They now sit seventh, with Potter’s methods beginning to take hold despite a run which has seen them fail to score in four of their last five games.

“Watching them, they’re playing some really good football and look like they’re a very confident side,” Hurst said.

“They’re very competent on the ball, make good decisions, make forward runs off of that and ask a lot of questions of you.

“They’re a very possession-based team. If you think of Swansea in general, the very good teams that they’ve had, that’s been their style, their philosophy if you like.

“They look like they’re getting back to that. I watched them earlier in the season and they did struggle but showed a gritty side and I’ve seen some comments coming out of their camp along the lines of, ‘We’re not going to be bullied’.

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Graham Potter was a candidate for the Ipswich Town job in the summer. Picture: PA

Graham Potter was a candidate for the Ipswich Town job in the summer. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

“That’s what you need. It’s fine if you’re going to be easy on the eye but you’ve got to have backbone to you and it looks as though it’s coming out and that’s a good combination from their point of view. We’ve just got to ask questions of them and hope that they’re a little bit complacent, but I’m sure they’ll be guarding against that.”

The Blues broke from their usual routine of travelling the day before away games as they left Ipswich on Thursday afternoon, training in south Wales today, with Hurst insisting the switch gives his side the best possible chance of victory.

“I think it’s far too long a journey for the players,” he said of the 280-mile journey. “Nothing guarantees you anything but you want to try and give yourself the best chance.

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Oli McBurnie is Swansea's leading scorer. Picture: PA

Oli McBurnie is Swansea's leading scorer. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

“We looked into flying but that was something we couldn’t do. The trains worked out too long so we’re setting off today and are training down there tomorrow. We feel that’s the best option available to us.

“It’s about trying to do the right things. Again, it doesn’t guarantee you anything but I’d rather it be that way than start questioning the preparation and people thinking that we’re not at least trying to do things properly.”

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Town team news

- Matthew Pennington is back involved after sitting out Tuesday night’s Middlesbrough loss through suspension. He could replace Janoi Donacien at right back.

- Myles Kenlock is definitely absent with the ankle injury he picked up in training last week.

- Andre Dozzell is in contention to start having returned to senior action as a substitute on Tuesday night

- Freddie Sears could start after impressing off the bench against Middlesbrough

- Long-term injury victims Ellis Harrison (ankle), Emyr Huws (knee), Tom Adeyemi (achilles) and Teddy Bishop (hamstring) are all missing for the Blues.

Swansea team news

- Former Ipswich loanee Bersant Celina is a likely starter while Cameron Carter-Vickers will be on the bench.

- Tom Carroll is a doubt after picking up a knock at Wigan in midweek while Jefferson Montero and Wilfried Bony will again miss out for Graham Potter’s side with long-term injury problems.

Opposition key man

Striker Oli McBurnie impressed in the Championship while on loan at Barnsley last season and has been given a chance by his parent club this time around after summer interest from Rangers. The big striker leads the Swans’ scoring charts with four goals


Swansea win - 5/6

Draw - 13/5

Ipswich win - 4/1

Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)

Andy’s prediction: Neither team score many. Fancy Town to grab a good point. 1-1

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