It is no coincidence that three players who could easily be playing at a much higher level have stayed with the Blues. Paul Lambert has pulling power. I cannot think of another manager at this level who could have persuaded Alan judge, Luke Garbett and Will Keane to come to the Blues and in the case of Keane, he returned to the fold against the odds! The Welsh international Emyr Huws is also someone that Lambert persuaded to stick around.
There is little doubt that this Town squad is a good one and quite probably the best in this division. It is not easy to please all of the players all of the time but Paul Lambert does an excellent job at trying to, and he persistently says that it is essentially a squad game and he does not have any favourites.
Of course, a lot of supporters; including myself, are not best pleased with his rotation system and we will see today whether 17 days of relative inactivity on the part of most of his first-team regulars impacts upon momentum. I hope I am wrong and that he is right here and we go on to beat Blackpool convincingly at Portman Road this afternoon, but from previous experience of these long gaps after international breaks, it does not bode very well I’m afraid.
Town have to try to cull all six points from their next two home games against some of the best teams in League One and to do so momentum is essential. How we start today could dictate what happens in the coming days, but Town will be without both James Norwood and Kane Vincent-Young again this afternoon. Will Norris comes back in goal and perhaps surprisingly, Janoi Donacien will be making his first League One appearance since August at right-back. Luke Garbutt is at left-back with skipper Luke Chambers and Luke Woolfenden the centre-halves.
Cole Skuse is joined by Flynn Downes and Jon Nolan in midfield and Gwion Edwards and Danny Rowe will play on either side of lone central striker Kayden Jackson as part of an attacking three. Liam Feeney starts for Blackpool and the former Town loanee and Curtis Tilt, who was once targeted by the Blues, is on bench-warming duties.
F.W. editor of Vital Ipswich