Tractor Boys look to sow seeds for first home win


Ipswich Town target their first victory in the Sky Bet Championship since October as Paul Cook brings his Wigan Athletic side to Portman Road on Saturday.

The Blues are winless in nine games, collecting only single points at home to Preston North End and at Reading.

Town’s woeful home form stretches back 249 days (including Saturday) to a 1-0 victory over Barnsley in April 2018, under the guidance of then manager Mick McCarthy. However, the Blues are suffering on the road as well as at home and sit eight points adrift of safety and will sit bottom of the Sky Bet Championship on Christmas Day.

Paul Lambert has failed to win in his first six matches since taking the reins from Paul Hurst but, despite losing their last two fixtures, went toe-to-toe with an experienced Stoke City side at the bet365 Stadium to follow-up a battling second half performance at Nottingham Forest the week before.

However, Lambert has since put his mark on the side as a result of several players picking up injuries and suffering poor form.

Experienced goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski was at fault for two goals in a 2-3 home defeat to Bristol City three weeks ago and was again at fault in the Midlands; therefore, Lambert selected rotation goalkeeper Dean Gerken to start against Stoke. Meanwhile, young frontman Jack Lankaster has started the last two matches and impressed when playing alongside Freddie Sears.

On the other hand, Paul Cook’s Wigan side could not be playing Ipswich at a better time. The resolute Latics have conceded just seven in their previous seven matches, but they have only come out winners once in that time-frame.

Team news

Ipswich remain without Cole Skuse (Knee). Teddy Bishop completed a full ninety minutes and scored twice for the under-23s in a 2-2 draw with QPR on Monday but is unlikely to start against Wigan.

Emyr Huws (Knee) and Tom Adeyemi (Achilles) remain unavailable as they continue their treatment; however, Kayden Jackson and Grant Ward could feature after returning from sickness.

Gavin Massey will return to the Wigan squad following a lengthy hamstring injury but is likely to only feature from the substitutes’ bench. Michael Jacobs, Chey Dunkley and Antonee Robinson remained ruled out through injury.

Meanwhile, Kal Naismith will miss also out on the trip to Portman Road after being sent-off in the 1-0 defeat to Derby County last week.

From the dug-outs

Speaking ahead of the trip to Suffolk, Wigan boss Paul Cook said his side have rediscovered some form ahead of a crucial festive period.

“I do feel in the last three or four games they’ve found themselves again after a difficult run.

The spirit’s always been there for all to see, there’s never been any doubt about that.

But I think there are strong signs from the lads we’re coming back to what we want to be.”

Paul Cook, Wigan Athletic manager speaking to ‘Wigan Today’

Meanwhile, Paul Lambert remained confident that Ipswich Town’s home form will turn for the better.

“It’ll be a tough game but we’re playing well at the minute. We’ll try and win the game.

I can’t ask anymore performance wise, there’s no problem making mistakes but it’s how you learn from them.

As soon as your season kicks off it’s a must-win game. I don’t go into any game other than trying to win.

If we keep doing what we’re doing then it will come.”

Paul Lambert, Ipswich Town manager speaking to iFollow Ipswich

About Author

When not busy covering local news for EssexLive, Matt Lee can be found in the press box at Portman Road covering Ipswich Town's return to the Championship and push for the Premier League.

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