‘We owe them one’ – Tommy Smith believes Ipswich Town can beat red-hot Wigan at Portman Road

Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith believes the Blues are more than capable of beating red-hot Wigan Athletic and closing the gap on the play-off places.

Mick McCarthy’s men are ninth in the Championship table and very much still in contention for a top six finish heading into their final 11 matches. The next four matches – at home to Wigan (seventh), away at Brighton (eighth) and home to both Derby (third) and Nottingham Forest (fifth) – provide a golden opportunity to make up some ground.

Town have claimed just eight points from a possible 30 against the eight teams above them in the table so far, but Smith believes that Wigan – into the FA Cup semi-finals and on a seven-game winning streak – can be beaten at Portman Road tomorrow.

“If you look at our performances against the top teams they haven’t really warranted defeats on most of the occasions,” said Smith. “We feel like we’ve being doing well against the top sides in the division, it’s just taking that next step now and winning those games.

“We played really well at Wigan earlier in the season (losing 2-0) and felt the scoreline didn’t reflect the game. Obviously we’ll be looking to avenge that. We don’t want to be losing twice to them in one season. We feel like we owe them one, for sure.”

Smith added: “Tuesday night (1-0 victory at Yeovil) was a massive win. It keeps us in with a shout and if we can stay around four or five points of sixth spot then there is always that chance of sneaking in there. The next four games are massive for us. We’re playing teams that are in and around us and we can take points off of them and bring them all a bit closer to us.

“Three of the next four are at home and the crowd – who have been great all season – have a big role to play. Their support at Yeovil was fantastic, I think there was more than a thousand of them there on a Tuesday night which was amazing really given the distance.

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“We’re really appreciative of their support.”

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