Last season Ipswich were a play-off outfit who beat us home and away. They were fortunate to win at The Valley with a very late goal in an even game but at Portman Road in December their 3-0 victory was embarrassingly easy. It was Bob Peeters' penultimate game in charge and the lack of spirit in the team was clear to all.
This season Ipswich look more like a reasonable mid-table side. They can certainly score goals - they have 25 so far. Brett Pitman, who joined from Bournemouth in the summer, leads the way with 5. Daryl Murphy and midfielder Ryan Fraser (on a season long loan from Bournemouth) have four each. David McGoldrick and Freddie Sears also know where the goal is. Last season's leading scorer Daryl Murphy endured a barren start this term and had not scored for fifteen games until he notched a hat trick at Rotherham three weeks ago. He followed this up with another against Wolves last week prompting his manager Mick McCarthy to say:
"Welcome back Murph. We don't want to see your sister again whose been playing in recent weeks. Leave your sister at home and you come regularly" - Ah, don't you just love these old school British managers?
But Ipswich also concede goals - their defensive record of 25 let in is the worst in the top half and is only one fewer than Charlton. So a 0-0 draw would seem unlikely.
Charlton's performance at Birmingham last week was exceptional. Their was a tactical shrewdness and a commitment which had been missing since September. Ademola Lookman outshone the Blues' Demarai Gray. Tareiq Holmes-Dennis looked remarkably assured. Johnnie Jackson was in just the right place at the right time to post his half century of goals. Ipswich would appear to be no better than Sheffield Wednesday or Birmingham so there is no reason why we shouldn't record three wins on the trot for the first time since the Luzon renaissance in March. Is it a coincidence that that run followed a supporters' protest?