Date: 2nd December 2016 at 5:44pm
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The benefits – or otherwise, of fielding a defence-minded midfield in an unchanged outfit away at Bristol City, will only really become apparent tomorrow afternoon at around 5.00 pm so in the meantime, all we can do is speculate about the eventual outcome?

Jonathan Douglas and Cole Skuse are holding midfielders and as the description suggests, are in the team to quell the oncoming storm and consolidate our defence in the process.

Whatever we may think about this strategy, we will all be satisfied if it actually works again and this might just depend on whether we can pinch a goal or two in the process?

Manager Mick McCarthy has already told the opposition how he plans to set up and even more pertinently perhaps, his team line up!

The jury is out on whether this is such a good idea? Does tricky Mick have a hidden agenda because his counterpart Lee Johnson will already expect him to line up in a 4-4-2 formation and looking at the side he has picked, it seems impossible to suspect otherwise?

Joe Bryan is Bristol City’s only only absentee for the Sky Bet Championship visit of the Blues and they are a big side so I think McCarthy is of the view that brute force is the order of the day.

Creativity comes at a price and prior to the rebuilding of a Skuse/Douglas midfield partnership, Teddy Bishop and Kevin Bru lacked any kind of serious physical aggression, which is the very foundation on which most McCarthy teams are constructed.

McCarthy will know that although he will always tell you in his post match analysis that a draw is always a good result away, he will be desperate for a win in order to make up some lost ground on our rivals.

The Canaries are now within spitting distance too, having lost their last five Championship games and if we were to win tomorrow and they were to lose yet again, we would be neck and neck in the table – now that’s a nice festive thought!

I suppose we will all forgive our manager (again) if we are triumphant tomorrow afternoon at Ashton Gate but of course a defeat would leave our manager vulnerable to yet more criticism.

The Robins have won their last two home league meetings with Town and both by 2-1 scorelines but City have lost their last three Championship matches, which is their worst run in the competition since January so we must remain hopeful of a good result.


Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich





 

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