Both Charlton and Ipswich are hoping for League One escape

Strangely, this season we sometimes seem to do best against the better clubs in the division. Supporters will therefore be hoping that we can continue this trend when the Tractor Boys roll into town at the weekend.

Despite Tuesday night's blip against MK Dons where victory escaped us, Ben Garner and the team's efforts have really been starting to bear fruit lately but it's going to take a solid shift on Saturday afternoon to continue the momentum of recent performances against promotion-chasing rivals.

Plymouth, Exeter and Portsmouth have all been put to the sword at The Valley this season. To achieve the same against Ipswich, we will need to be firing on all cylinders. We have shown we are capable of that and against the team currently second in the division we will definitely be in for a tough test.

Older fans will have memories of our Suffolk visitors as a force to be reckoned with. Once managed by the legendary Alf Ramsey, they were later in the charge of the equally great Bobby Robson. Under his tenure they claimed an FA Cup and a UEFA Cup, inspired by a couple of flying Dutchmen and the goalscoring duo of Paul Mariner and John Wark.

In this era they also had half the cast of Escape to the Victory - the classic 1981 prisoner of war film starring Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and a certain Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pelé) amongst others. It's fair to say then that Ipswich certainly got used to being in the spotlight in the 1980s. But right now, just as in Charlton's case, those travels to grander places seem a long time ago.

One thing's for sure - both of us want to secure a quick breakout from this division. Probably, it's fair to say Ipswich have spent a bit more this season in trying to do so - though some of us did get in trouble for suggesting the same about Portsmouth recently.

Just like us, in recent times, they have appointed a youngish manager with big things expected of him. Kieran McKenna took up that role in December 2021 in a move from the mighty Manchester United.  With promotion an expectation, this pre-season, he made nine signings including the big-money capture of Panutche Camara from promotion rivals Plymouth Argyle. Unfortunately for Ipswich, in a situation we can all too readily identify with, he has been plagued with injury ever since and has only recently returned to first team action.

Possibly then Camara won't feature against us on Saturday but they have a strong squad with some big names for this division who are capable of causing us plenty of trouble. We can't give them the chances we gave to MK Dons and expect to escape as easily. But let's hope that was just a bad day at the office.

If we play as well as we are capable of and as we have done, then there's no reason to assume that Ipswich Town will escape The Valley on Saturday afternoon with a victory. A win would certainly keep us in contention for the play-offs and after our recent form, excepting the MK Dons blip, we've got to hope for that at least.