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Priority for transfer window?

Reduce squad size
Strengthen defence
Strengthen midfield
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No change needed


Ipswich Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 07/10/2002

TOWN enter a fixture against one of the most fancied pre-season promotion contenders on an awful run of form. One win in twelve league and cup games tells its own story.

Home > 2002-2003 Season > Previews > Ipswich (h)

The Bottom Line

 The last few weeks Town fans have been praying for a win. The one against Brighton came, but winning at home is now the objective. On the last two home games a win has looked so unlikely that it would be a miracle if Town managed to score at Blundell Park. The message though surely is to rediscover even a glimmer of the form the Mariners showed at Blundell Park at the end of last season.

Recent Form


LSheff Utd(a)1-2
WFK Sartid(a)1-0
WBrighton (Cup)(h)3-1

Players To Watch



The Mighty Mariner

Matt Holland

This useless, ineffectual paper mache blob is a total wally but until Town start playing football to a decent standard, the Mighty Mariner will be more entertaining to watch. His attempted pole dances on the goal frames are about as embarrassing and laughable as your Gran trying to do the Okey-cokey on Boxing Day with a big, pink paper hat on. But recently he has defied the critics and become one of the most outstanding members of the Club on the Blundell Park turf. But there again - that’s not too hard!

Not many first division players can say that they went to the World Cup in 2002 and scored, but Matt Holland certainly can. Since signing from Bournemouth in 1997, Holland has not missed a single match for the Tractor boys; a measure of his ability and commitment. This remarkable record and his excellent form over recent seasons has seen him rise through the ranks and is now a full Republic of Ireland international with over 20 caps to his name. Earlier in the season he rejected a £6million move to Aston Villa, preferring to help Ipswich back up into the Premiership this season.

Top Scorers



Counago 7
Ambrose 5
Darren Bent 3

Barnard 2
Pouton 2
Kabba 1
Robinson 1

Team News



  • The Mariners have horrendous injury problems. On top of the injuries to Steve Chettle, Paul Groves, Chris Bolder and Steve Livingstone and the suspension of Tony Gallimore, Town now have a further four players extremely doubtful for this rearranged fixture.

  • John McDermott is the most doubtful and is not expected to make it. Darren Barnard has also received a heavy knock and is touch and go, as is Stuart Campbell.

  • Alan Pouton meanwhile has a dead leg.

  • This means that Iain Ward is likely to start, whether deputising for Macca at right back or for Barnard at left back. If he is forced to play at left back then Simon Ford could move to right back with George Santos partnering Paul Raven at the back.

  • Groves will hope that Stuart Campbell and Alan Pouton will be fit - if not then he may be forced to blood youngsters like Graham Hockless and Stephen Downes.

  • Elsewhere, he may decide to swap Darren Mansaram with Paul Robinson up front in an attempt to score Town’s first home goal since August 17th.
  • Definitely ruled out is experienced midfielder Jim Magilton who is nursing a hamstring injury. Consequently, midfielder Matthew Bloomfield will be included in the squad

  • John McGreal and Darren Bent are also carrying knocks, but will travel to Cleethorpes for the match.

  • Therefore, George Burley is expected to keep the same side that beat Wimbledon 1-0 on Sunday evening.

  • Probable Starting XI's


    Danny Coyne
    Iain Ward
    Simon Ford
    Paul Raven
    George Santos
    Terry Cooke
    Stuart Campbell
    Alan Pouton
    Stacy Coldicott
    Paul Robinson
    Steve Kabba
    Andy Marshall
    Chris Makin
    John McGreal
    Wayne Brown
    Jamie Clapham
    Finidi George
    Matt Holland
    Tommy Miller
    Jermaine Wright
    Pablo Counago
    Marcus Bent



    Jonny Rowan
    Darren Mansaram
    Graham Hockless
    Greg Young
    Sean Allaway (GK)
    Darren Ambrose
    Alun Armstrong
    Thomas Gaardsoe
    Matthew Richards
    James Pullen (GK)

    Last Time Out

    It was October 1999 when the sides last met. After beating the Anglia side 2-1 just three weeks before, The Mariners went down to a 2-0 defeat with Jamie Clapham and Richard Naylor scoring the goals for the Tractor Boys. That season, Ipswich were promoted via the play offs after a 4-2 win against Barnsley at Wembley while the Mariners finished 20th.

    Town Team: Coyne, Butterfield, Gallimore, Groves, Lever, Burnett (Black), Coldicott, Pouton, Smith (Buckley), Allen (Ashcroft), Lester
    Attendance: 16,617    Report

    Ipswich Head-to-Head (91st on The Opposition Ladder).


    Fishy prediction: A massive shock. Town score! But lose. 3-1 to Ipswich. Reader's POMs


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