Ipswich (a) PREVIEW

A horrid run of defeats and not scoring came to an end on Saturday. The Us fans basked in the South London sunshine and the glory of being pretty much almost there in guaranteeing another season of third tier football. Not even the flat beer and lack of food trucks can dampen the occasion. 

Saturday won’t go down as a classic. In a turgid affair, United did enough to better a poor AFC Wimbledon side and with that, move 15 points clear of the bottom four. All this means that (in theory) we can look forward to the remaining fixtures without looking over our shoulders. It’s a great relief to know we can head to some of the league’s bigger grounds and two of the most anticipated away days without fear of being relegated at said iconic grounds.

This weekend then sees what many would argue as the most anticipated away day of the season. Many looked out for this fixture first when the fixtures were released in June. A sold-out away end, over 24k in attendance, the scene is set for a famous Us day out and Hoolahan to get one over the Tractor Boys again. All sounds so simple until we remember that Ipswich are flying under new manager, Kieran McKenna. Flying so much that if you took their returns under McKenna and applied it to the season they’d finish on 97 points. 

Saturday will be a tough one, but let’s hope it’s memorable for the right reasons! We review Wimbledon away and preview Ipswich in our latest pod…

Takeaways from Bonner’s presser

  • Feels we can be capable of upsetting teams, including Ipswich. 
  • Interesting discussion about squad rotation and hinted that we’ll see changes over next few games. Bons feels like we’ve got lots of options for starters in different positions and we’ll use next 7 games to look people, assess ahead of next season. 
  • No discussions yet with Wes or anyone about next season. We suspect Bons is lying…
  • Lloyd Jones done great job to finish his recovery during difficult games. Unlikely to play all 3 games in next 7 days.
  • Tolaj been unfortunate as he joined during a period when we weren’t training, Smith did so well and a quicker return than expected for Ironside.
  • O’Neil not trained this week due to a calf injury.
  • Everyone else fit and training, likely to see Iredale soon but Saturday probably too early.

Expected line-up

Bons hinted at Wes starting in his presser and this writer would love to see a return to a third man in midfield like Portsmouth away. However, we doubt either will happen and am going from an unchanged XI.

Mitov, Willo, Dunk, Sergio Ramos, Okedina, Digby, May, The Knibbler, Brophy, HMS Ironside. 

Opposition preview

After a huge spending spree in the Summer, Town’s start to the campaign didn’t follow the script of storming to the top of the table. Being knocked out of the FA Cup by Barrow was the final nail and saw Paul Cook relieved of his duties. 

Life under new manager Kerian McKenna has been the opposite and recent form has seen Ipswich close the gap to the play-offs to just 5 points. With just 6 games left however, it might be a little too late.

Who is their player to watch?

A squad filled with riches. We’ll pick Morsy as our top pick as he’s arguably one of the best midfielders in the division. We can’t forgive him wearing number 55 though. 

Who’s in the dugout?

It’ll be a battle of the mid 30s managers this Saturday.

Kieran McKenna joined Ipswich in December and the turnaround has been mighty impressive, with 10 wins and 12 clean sheets coming from his first 17 games in his first managerial job. 

What’s their recent form like?

As mentioned above, McKenna’s first 17 games have yielded an impressive set of results. At home under McKenna Ipswich are unbeaten with 6 wins and 2 draws.

W-W-D-D-W

Any ex-United players?

Two former Us ply their trade at Portman Road.

Idris El Mizouni had two loan spells with the Us in League Two. The first was more successful than the second with both injuries and Hoolahan blocking him getting a run in the side during our promotion season.

Joe Piggot failed to make an impression in his one season at the Abbey, hardly a surprise given that Derry was in charge. After leaving United Piggot enjoyed success at Maidstone and AFC Wimbledon before being one of a thousand signings made by Ipswich this summer. The Pig has failed to nail down a permanent spot at Ipswich and we all had a good laugh in January when he was heavily rumoured to be coming back to the Abbey.

Paul Digby also spent some time as an Ipswich player. 

Last time out

A last gasp equaliser from HMS Ironside as United came back from 2-0 down. One of the many highs of this season.

The UTAS team’s terrible Moosenet predictions

Jordan 2-0 Ipswich

Swindle 2-1 United, Tola

Tom 1-0 United, Wes

Julian 2-0 United, Wes x2

Owen 9-0 United, Wes x9

Caspell 3-0 Ipswich, Wes OG

From the archive

Only one place we were gonna go for this entry. Little ol’ Cambridge go top of the Championship courtesy of a win at Portman Road in November 1991. The highest we’ve ever been in the football pyramid.

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