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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

U’s need to feel ‘at home’ this season

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 August 2018

Sammie Szmodics, who bagged a 95th minute equaliser for the U's at Mansfield in a 1-1 draw. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Sammie Szmodics, who bagged a 95th minute equaliser for the U's at Mansfield in a 1-1 draw. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Colchester United kick off their home campaign, of the new season, with an awkward test against a potentially dangerous Port Vale side this afternoon.

While the U’s began their 2018-19 term with a gritty goalless draw at Notts County last weekend, the free-scoring Valiants put visiting Cambridge United to the sword at Vale Park.

Target man Tom Pope, always a handful for any opposing defence, bagged a brace after summer signing Ricky Miller had broken the deadlock to sink former U’s manager Joe Dunne’s Cambridge side.

While Port Vale clearly have a goal threat, U’s boss John McGreal is banking on his side to take the initiative and get supporters off their seats with a positive, on-the-front-foot display, to lay down a marker for the season.

Certainly, the U’s will need to improve on their mediocre home record from 2017-18, which yielded just nine wins from 23 home league fixtures, with 34 points accrued. It was only the 12th best in the division, and a prime reason why John McGreal’s men missed out on the League Two play-offs by the wide margin on 13 points and six places.

Instead, the Essex club need to get back to the sort of form that graced the Community Stadium in 2016-17, when an impressive 14 home wins and a big haul of 46 points took them to within one point and one place of the play-offs.

In fact, only promoted Doncaster had a better home record in the fourth tier two years ago, the U’s finishing joint second in the ‘home table’ with Portsmouth, another club who were promoted. A dismal away record cost the U’s a possible promotion that season.

“Home form is crucial for every team, at any level, and that goes for Manchester City as well,” insisted McGreal.

“The onus will be on us, as the home team, and a good home record is vital if you want to have a successful season.

“We’ve got to get our fans on their feet in the South Stand as soon as we can, to get the atmosphere going, by putting in a good performance.

“We’re all looking forward to the game, and we’re hoping for a big crowd as well.

“Port Vale will be a real test for us, because Neil (Aspin) will be disappointed with how last season panned out. They started so well, but then fell away, a bit like we did,” added McGreal.

Ipswich Town’s Under 23s drew 3-3 with QPR at Playford Road this afternoon. Andy Warren cast an eye over the Young Blues.

Trevoh Chalobah is confident he can help fill the void left following Cole Skuse’s knee injury.

Ipswich Town will field a strong Under 23 side when they take on QPR at Playford Road this afternoon (1pm).

It’s been another week with more losses – but the double whammy on this occasion is that these have been suffered both on the pitch at Stoke and off the field of play, in the reporting of our latest set of accounts. In all honesty, there’s no surprise in either.

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history. Today features that second-half comeback at Barnsley which briefly saved Paul Jewell’s job, and a memorable victory at Anfield.....

Let me give you a new definition of desperation. It’s an Ipswich Town fan wanting Norwich City to score a last-minute winner to save his beloved Tractor Boys from falling even further behind in the Championship relegation battle, writes North Stander Terry Hunt.

Ipswich Town are now eight points adrift of safety at the foot of the Championship table following yesterday’s 2-0 defeat at Stoke City. STUART WATSON gives his thoughts.

Ipswich Town lost 2-0 at Stoke City in a Championship clash yesterday afternoon. STUART WATSON gives his thoughts.

Trevoh Chalobah insists the confidence boost generated by manager Paul Lambert’s arrival still remains, despite Ipswich Town suffering a fourth successive defeat at Stoke yesterday.

Paul Lambert has confirmed midfielder Cole Skuse will be out for ‘a couple of months’ after suffering a knee injury in training.

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