Match preview: Brentford v Ipswich Town - ‘No chance we will let season peter out’

PUBLISHED: 06:00 07 April 2018

Martyn Waghorn celebrates his second goal against Millwall on Monday. Photo: Steve Waller

Martyn Waghorn celebrates his second goal against Millwall on Monday. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town take on Brentford, at Griffin Park, in a Championship match this afternoon. STUART WATSON previews the action.

Cole Skuse is a major doubt today after taking a bang to the head against Millwall. Photo: Steve WallerCole Skuse is a major doubt today after taking a bang to the head against Millwall. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy insists there is no way his players are going to let the season simply peter out.

The Blues find themselves slap bang in the middle of the Championship table – 19 points clear of the drop zone and 10 points adrift of the play-off places.

It was announced last week that McCarthy would be leaving the club when his contract expires this summer.

Town have claimed just two points from their last five games, losing 1-0 at Birmingham and drawing 2-2 with Millwall at Portman Road over the Easter weekend.

MORE: Dutch boss Maurice Steijn speaks about continued Ipswich Town links

Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s match at Brentford, the Town boss said: “The second half performance (against Millwall) puts to bed, if anybody was thinking it, that the lads are not with me, are not motivated and are just letting the season peter out. No chance.

“It’s funny because we were coming down the tunnel and (Millwall striker Steve) Morison was having a word in referee’s ear. I heard and, of course, I chipped my two pence in.

“He said ‘what are you doing, you don’t even want to be here’ and I said ‘that might be the case but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to win’. There’s a big difference.

Teenage Australian striker Ben Folami may get another chance to impress after stepping off the bench for his league debut on Monday. Photo: Steve WallerTeenage Australian striker Ben Folami may get another chance to impress after stepping off the bench for his league debut on Monday. Photo: Steve Waller

MORE: ‘Out of contract players not for me to deal with now’ – McCarthy

“The fact I’m not going to be here doesn’t mean I’m just going to down tools and not compete and not be snarling in the fourth official’s ear. That’s not going to happen.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Town left-back Jonas Knudsen, who said: “It was nice to see how we reacted for the manager and also for the fans on Monday.

“It was an entertaining game. We are in the middle of the table now and maybe a little bit more free, I don’t know.

“Sometimes that is not how it works with games being so open though. It’s fantastic to watch, but that is not how football is all the time. Sometimes you have to say ‘we have to get the points on the board’.

MORE: ‘I will have to think about my future a but more’ – Knudsen

“I think everybody loved it on Monday though and all my family who were there certainly enjoyed it. The fans are so important; they are a big part of football. We have to remember that because when you don’t have fans it’s not enjoyable.”

Dean Smith’s Brentford ended a four-game winless streak and kept alive their fading play-off hopes with a 1-0 victory at top-six rivals Bristol City on Monday.

Brentford midfielder Ryan Woods is suspended today after his red card against Sheffiled United on Good Friday. Photo: PABrentford midfielder Ryan Woods is suspended today after his red card against Sheffiled United on Good Friday. Photo: PA

MORE: ‘I’ve got my head around it’ – McCarthy on seeing out his contract and ‘nice’ West Brom links

Opposition lowdown

Manager: Dean Smith (Nov ‘15: W48 D27 L47)

Last five finishes: 10th, 9th, 5th (Championship), 2nd, 3rd (League One)

Current form: WDDLL WLWWD

Last game: W 1-0 Bristol City (a)

Away league record: P20 W8 D 3 L9 F23 A25

Top scorers: Maupay, Watkins (10); Vibe (7); Jozefzoon (6)

Most assists: Jozefzoon (6); Maupay, Yennaris, Watkins, Sawyers (4)

Most league starts: Bentley (40), Watkins (34)

Margins of victory 17/18: 1 (x6), 2 (x7), 3+ (x2)

Margins of defeat 17/18: 1 (x7), 2 (x3), 3+ (x2)

MORE: ‘We haven’t got our flip-flops on yet’ – Webster

Stat attack

15 - League wins for both sides this season

5 - Points between Brentford and Ipswich

• The three Championship games between the two at Griffin Park have produced 12 goals

MORE: McGoldrick could return to action this season

Ipswich Town team news

• Cole Skuse is a major doubt after suffering a head injury in Monday’s 2-2 home draw with Millwall.

• Teenage striker Ben Folami could be given another chance to impress after an encouraging league debut off the bench.

• Young duo Barry Cotter

MORE: Ipswich Town Fans’ Jury – Predictions for Brentford clash

(right-back) and Aaron Drinan (striker) – recruited from Irish clubs Limerick and Waterford respectively in January – could make their debuts after both scoring for the U23s in Wednesday’s 2-1 win against Cardiff.

• Dominic Iorfa has been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with a thigh injury.

• Emyr Huws, Joe Garner, David McGoldrick, Tom Adeyemi, Andre Dozzell, Teddy Bishop and Dean Gerken all remain long-term absentees.

MORE: ‘He was £250k, so it was hardly earth-shattering’ – McCarthy reveals Huws fee

Brentford team news

• Winger Alan Judge made his first senior start on Monday almost two years on from breaking his leg at Portman Road following a Luke Hyam challenge.

• Midfielder Ryan Woods remains suspended after his red card in the 1-1 home draw with Sheffield United on Good Friday.

• Defender Andreas Bjelland could be available again after a calf injury

• Lewis Macleod is back in the fold after long-term injuries.

MORE: ‘Go and get Mowbray’ – Burley’s message to Evans

Key opposition man

Florian Jozefzoon

The flying Dutch winger is the most threatening player in a team which plays nice football but often lacks end product. Seven goals and six assists to his name. Slight doubt with ankle injury.

MORE: Former Blues striker Kuqi throws his hat in the ring

Last meeting

Ipswich Town 2 Brentford 0

Date: Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Blues’ run of wins at the start of the season continued as they swatted the Bees aside. Martyn Waghorn gave Ipswich the lead as he swept home a loose ball before Joe Garner made it 2-0 as his header from a corner was awarded with the aid of goalline technology.

MORE: Ipswich must get back to their core values – Osman

Odds

Brentford 6/11

Draw 39/11

Ipswich Town 6/1

Referee

Robert Jones (Merseyside)

Games: 38, Yellows: 108, Reds: 8

Stu’s prediction

Brentford 1 Ipswich Town 1

Town spirited but lack guile. Brentford slick, but lack end product. Two mid-table sides to cancel each other out.

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