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Ipswich Town – The Scout Report



United’s recent form has given the side breathing room from a number of sides below them in the Championship table, but the visit of Mick McCarthy’s Tractor Boys poses a different kind of challenge, and will require a different approach.
 
Ipswich Town – A Factfile

Founded: 1878
Nickname: The Tractor Boys
Stadium: Portman Road (30,311 capacity)
Manager: Mick McCarthy
2015-16: Championship, 7th
Major Honours: First Division (1961-62), FA Cup (1977-78), UEFA Cup (1980-81)

Notable Signings

Grant Ward –
ST – Former Tottenham Hotspur graduate, Grant Ward made a name for himself on his debut for Ipswich by netting a cool hat-trick against Barnsley. Since then the youngster hasn’t been as prolific but still offers an outlet upfront, capable of finding the back of the net.

Jonny Williams – CM – Versatile attacking midfielder Williams is currently on loan from Crystal Palace, and looking to finally kickstart his career after a number of unsuccessful loan spells. He returns to Portman Road on loan for the fourth occasion, most recently donning the blue and white shirt in 2015. The 23-year old is no stranger to the Championship but can also draw on his international experience, most recently with Wales at this summer’s European Championships.

Adam Webster – CB – Having plied his trade in the lower reaches of the Football League system in his teenage years, the tall and imposing Webster earned a £750,000 move to Ipswich in the summer from South coast club Portsmouth after an impressive number of seasons at the heart of their defence. Webster has featured in eight Ipswich matches so far this term and looks set to continue in defence against United where he will make his 100th career league appearance, at the age of just 21.
 
Notable Departures

Daryl Murphy – ST – Arguably the star man for Ipswich over the last couple of seasons, Murphy headed north to join up with Benitez at Newcastle, donning the role of experienced target man. Murphy’s goals for Ipswich are evidently being missed with the Tractor Boys labouring to score just eight goals in 12 league matches so far.
 
Jay Tabb – CM – Championship stalwart renowned for his small stature but composure on the ball, Jay Tabb was released by Ipswich in the summer as Mick McCarthy overhauled some of the old guard. While it may be encouraged to bring through youth, substituting that for invaluable nature of experience may not necessarily be the best policy. Tabb’s 76 league appearances for Ipswich over the past three seasons were instrumental to the high league finishes they enjoyed during that period, but at 32, boss McCarthy deemed his services surplus to requirements.
 
Key Players

Bartosz Bialkowski – GK – Suffolk’s resident Polishman Bialkowski is a mainstay in the Ipswich side, having signed permanently from Notts County in 2014. His 6ft 4in frame is an intimidating figure in between the goalposts and has led to the Tractor Boys conceding just nine league goals this season, in which Bialkowski has kept six clean sheets, one of the best records in the division.

Leon Best – ST – A man who needs little introduction to the Newcastle United faithful is Leon Best, who averaged a goal every four games during his two-and-a-half years on Tyneside. Best has endured somewhat of a journeyman existence following his departure from St James’ Park in 2012 but still possesses the ability to find the goal with an arrowed, right-footed strike.

Christophe Berra – CB – Experienced Scottish centre-back with 33 international caps to his name, along with 144 Ipswich Town appearances, Berra is a rock at the back and a force to be reckoned with for opposition attackers. Adept at scoring goals as much as he is at keeping them out, Berra’s assured defensive performances are partly to thank for Ipswich’s excellent defensive record over the past couple of seasons, alongside his defensive partner and captain Luke Chambers.
 
Last Six Results

Ipswich Town 0-0 Aston Villa – 17/9/16
Leeds United 1-0 Ipswich Town – 24/9/16
Ipswich Town 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion – 27/9/16
Ipswich Town 0-1 Huddersfield Town – 1/10/16
Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Ipswich Town – 15/10/16
Ipswich Town 2-0 Burton Albion – 18/10/16
 
Manager
Mick McCarthy

A man renowned for his eccentric personality and often quite frank and brutal post-match interviews, McCarthy is a character that isn’t seen very much in the modern game. The straight-talking Irishman is a travelled player and manager, both at club and international level, having made 57 Republic of Ireland appearances himself, before taking on the top job at the FAI between 1996-2002. McCarthy is no stranger to the Premier League but also to the Championship having gained the reputation of being somewhat of a yo-yo club manager, due to his previous stints at Sunderland and Wolves, where he suffered relegations and promotions. McCarthy has been at Ipswich since 2012 and is building a squad on a shoestring budget, yet still challenging at the right end of the table.

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About Harry Savill (Editor) (418 Articles)
I am the Editor of 'The Spectator's View'. I set up the website so that I could combine my two passions: Newcastle United and writing, and I hope for it to be a platform where fans can express their views on the club. History Graduate from Durham University. Junior Account Executive at M&C Saatchi.

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