Looking to follow up on Saturday’s impressive display
All round, Saturday’s win over Reading was a thoroughly enjoyable experience throughout and it’s now up to Walter Zenga’s men to repeat the dose tonight. As previously mentioned, we’ve been handed a start which gives us a fine opportunity to pick up a decent points haul even while we’re bedding a new squad down and we should be looking to capitalise while confidence is high. If we can come through these opening seven games with anything approaching two points a game then that would solidify our position as a team with genuine designs on a top six spot this season.
This one should be fairly simple; send the same team out as on Saturday and tell them to perform in the same way. Doubtless Ipswich will be less accommodating than Reading were (and indeed that should apply to most games this season) but high intensity and a coherent attacking plan are often enough to get you through a chunk of Championship home games. Prince Oniangue wasn’t signed in time to feature in this fixture though it’s unlikely he would have played much part in any case having not yet trained with the team. Of course this does mean that we’re sticking with a number of players (for now) who are not especially likely to have much of a long term future with the club, there’s certainly no long term value in playing Dave Edwards and George Saville in the same midfield, but it’s up to them to prove they can at least play some kind of a squad role; a test they fundamentally failed in the first halves against Rotherham and Crawley, but showed better signs at the weekend. A lot of these players won’t ever play for a bigger club than Wolves and certainly won’t be involved (even on the fringes) of a project like this so they should be giving it their all.
Conor Coady – Dominic Iorfa – Danny Batth – Matt Doherty
Dave Edwards – Lee Evans – George Saville
Joe Mason – Jon Dadi Bodvarsson – Joao Teixeira
Subs: Andy Lonergan, Kortney Hause, Sylvain Deslandes, Jack Price, Jed Wallace, James Henry, Helder Costa.
We should all know what a Mick McCarthy team is going to produce, we had five and a half years of watching them. Mick has by and large done a tremendous job at Ipswich, following years of reasonably heavy and wasteful spending under sub-standard managers (sound familiar?) he came in with a brief of turning around the fortunes of a low quality squad and pulled them into the realm of top six form just through basic organisation and hard work. So far, so Mick, and worth considering that in his entire time at Portman Road he’s barely had anything at all to spend on transfer fees. However things have stagnated a little of late, last season’s playoff push was effectively ended by a run of one win in 10 games during March and April and there has been growing discontent amongst the support about his perceived lack of flexibility when results start to decline (again, sound familiar?). It would appear that the financial taps have been permanently shut off by Marcus Evans so transfer business has once again been low key, Adam Webster and Grant Ward from Portsmouth and Tottenham’s reserves respectively being the main two arrivals in the summer. Ward began the season with a hat trick off the bench against Barnsley on the opening day (aided it has to be said by some atrocious goalkeeping) but Town have since slipped to successive defeats, at home to Stevenage in the EFL Cup and at Brentford on Saturday.
Perhaps Mick’s greatest achievement of all at Ipswich has been to inspire Christophe Berra to score 12 goals in his three years at the club, which is a major improvement on the 0 he managed in a Wolves shirt in four and a half years here. Daryl Murphy continues to lead the line for the Tractor Boys in his yeoman way while familiar Championship level faces such as Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse and Jonathan Douglas are still regulars in the squad. Wolves haven’t managed to beat Ipswich since Mick moved to East Anglia and indeed haven’t managed a home win against them since Mick’s very first home game in charge back in August 2006 when Jay Bothroyd scored a 30 yard scorcher (and do use that word), Carl Cort was sent off and Matt Murray capped a heroic personal display with a penalty save.
Last line-up (vs Brentford, 13.8.16, L 0-2): Bialkowski; Chambers, Webster, Berra, Knudsen; Bru, Skuse, Ward, Grant; Sears, Murphy.
Saturday 2 April 2016: Wolves 0-0 Ipswich
Honestly, I won’t just be writing about 0-0s forever. I promise. But this was another of those games at the back end of last season that just had no purpose to it whatsoever. Indeed Ipswich were equally to blame for the tepid stuff on show, especially as they were still in the distant chase for a playoff spot but showed little by way of attacking adventure in this one. Liam Feeney hit a post for Ipswich and Brett Pitman had a shot cleared off the line by Kortney Hause, it took us 72 minutes to have a shot on target and that wasn’t really anything to write home about either. Dreadful, dreadful stuff.
Team: Ikeme; Iorfa, Batth, Hause, Doherty; Coady, Price, Saville; Sigurdarson (Henry 45), Zyro (Le Fondre 68), Helan (Mason 58). Unused subs: Martinez, Deslandes, McDonald, Hunte.
2015/16: D 0-0 (H), D 2-2 (A)
2014/15: D 1-1 (H), L 1-2 (A)
2012/13: L 0-2 (H), W 2-0 (A)
2008/9: D 0-0 (H), W 2-0 (A)
2007/8: D 1-1 (H), L 0-3 (A)
2006/7: W 1-0 (H), W 1-0 (A)
2005/6: W 1-0 (H), D 1-1 (A)
2004/5: W 2-1 (H), L 1-2 (A)
2002/3: D 1-1 (H), W 4-2 (A)
1999/0: W 2-1 (H), L 0-1 (A)
1998/9: W 1-0 (H), L 0-2 (A)
1997/8: D 1-1 (H), L 0-3 (A
1996/7: D 0-0 (H), D 0-0 (A)
1995/6: D 2-2 (H), W 2-1 (A)
1993/4: D 1-1 (H, FAC), W 2-1 (A, FAC)
Wolves 2-1 Ipswich (Bodvarsson, Teixeira)
A tougher game than Saturday but Wolves to come out on top with a front three that should have too much by way of movement for a fairly cumbersome Ipswich back four.