Date: 12th January 2015 at 6:05pm
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Due to a virus at the club, Ipswich Town take on Southampton at Portman Road in midweek without some familiar names occupying those midfield positions.

This third round FA Cup replay is a sell-out and Town fans will be disappointed to discover that the blues will have to try to overcome The Saints without the cool head of Cole Skuse, or the creative flair of Teddy Bishop and to add insult to injury inspirational Jay Tabb is also expected not to play!

Now Mick McCarthy has told the press that it is unlikely any of them will take part, which must be seen as a big blow to the Tractor Boys hopes of pulling off a major shock in front of a live television audience on the BBC.

Interestingly however, all three of the virus victims are expected to be fit for the game against Millwall on Saturday so can we suppose that the manager has decided after the club’s disappointing defeat to Derby at the weekend to concentrate on his number one goal which is automatic promotion?

He argues that people might be reading too much into these changes. ‘If you saw the team we played against Southampton it will be similar to that and we did not do that badly did we?’

That said, if these midfielders miss out then the midfield largely picks itself and Blues fan will get to see Darren Ambrose from the start once more. Along with him could be the Hunt brothers and probably Luke Hyam – although if he is in search of a little more creativity then Paul Anderson might come into the equation too and there is of course Kevin Bru!

We may have a small squad but even with those absentees, on paper at least, it still looks quite a strong team but the last thing we need to do is to under perform again when the world is watching!

If our manager is serious about winning this one then he will surely play David McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy up front again and I don’t think think he will be tempted to tamper with the defence too much, although Jonathan Parr and Dean Gerken might get the nod and Berre, Chambers and Tommy Smith will be in from the start.

After Derby County’s chief operating officer John Vicars described his team’s victory as ‘making some noise at the library’ on Twitter we can only hope that the Town fans can raise the roof on Wednesday and let the nation hear what we are all about!

Frank Weston – Editor Vital Ipswich


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