On Sunday, Ipswich Town will be looking to end a miserable run, where they have failed to win, following an international break, twenty times in succession! The question is can Town break their stop-start habit, and the game, which kicks off at midday; due to the fact that the Sky cameras will be at the Wham Stadium in Accrington, is a record the Blues will be desperate to end.
We have to go back five years to September 2014 when we beat Millwall 2-0 at Portman Road to find the last time momentum was not lost after an international pause. Since then, Town has managed amazingly to lose ten and draw ten, after the resumption of their season. But it is not all bad news, as manager Paul Lambert alluded to in his press conference yesterday, and even suggested that these semi-enforced breaks in the season may, in fact, help his squad. “I think this one has certainly helped us because we carried a few knocks from the last game, so I think that’s certainly helped us on that front. We’ve had to do it because there’s been too many away (on international duty) and we’ve carried knocks so that one probably came at the right time for us.”
So then, could this be the time to get rid of two appalling records in one fell swoop? The Tractor Boys have another disappointing record in live games featured on Sky and they have not won when under mass public scrutiny, since their last success narrow victory (0-1) against the MK Dons, way back in December 2015!
Three key players have used this stop-start break to aid their recovery from injuries, and in the case of striker James Norwood he has even had a minor groin operation in the meantime, and both Kane Vincent-Young and Flynn Downes (playing for England’s under 21’s) have also incurred injuries of late. Lambert is hopeful that they may all pull through in time for this live televised match.
Accrington are struggling a bit at the moment and find themselves in 20th place in the table as things stand. If complacency does not set-in, then there is every chance of another Town win, and whatever happens on Saturday in other matches, the Blues will go into this one still top of the League One table.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich