This may be deemed by both managers to be a useless exercise but the game tonight in the EFL Trophy at Portman Road will give us a much greater insight into the future of Ipswich Town. Gillingham boss Steve Evans and Town manager Paul Lambert have both said that this game is surplus to requirements and will therefore field vastly weakened teams this evening. We fielded a much stronger side in our first game at home to Arsenal, but it was still not good enough to see us over the winning line.
You can understand the thinking of the head coaches, but it does give us a chance to see what is lying in the wings and whether we have players at this level who could eventually step up to the plate? The first question on my mind is who will Lambert put in goal? The obvious choice is perhaps Blues understudy David Cornell but if he is not prepared to risk him, then he may play third choice keeper Adam Przybek, as he did in this competition last season. I was impressed with him last time around and felt that he did little wrong but as Tomas Holy is still considered to be our number one keeper at the moment, this means Cornell is not getting sufficient game time.
Whatever our manager thinks about this competition it does provide us with an element of competitive football and this cannot do our youngsters any harm. Assistant manager Stuart Taylor will relish the opportunity to prove what he can do too and gaining some first-team experience is a vital part of this, for many of our younger players.
I would expect to see young midfielders, Liam Gibbs, and Ross Crane involved tonight and upfront Ben Folami, Tyreece Simpson and Zak Brown will probably get a game as well. Jack Lankester might also get a look in along with Armando Dobra and I will be interested to see if Town give a run out to Luke Woolfenden too, as he is now apparently fully recovered from his injury and Emyr Huws could also do with some game time if the management team decided to mix things up a bit in what will be, after all, an experimental side.