Klug hopes ‘78 Day’ celebrations inspire his team against Middlesbrough

PUBLISHED: 18:00 05 May 2018

Mick Mills and Roger Osborne hold up the FA Cup in 1978. Photo: Archant

Mick Mills and Roger Osborne hold up the FA Cup in 1978. Photo: Archant

Archant

Ipswich Town caretaker boss Bryan Klug hopes his players are inspired by the celebratory atmosphere which will surround what the club have labelled ‘78 Day’.

Ipswich Town caretaker manager Bryan Klug (centre), flanked by assistants Gerard Nash and Chris Hogg. Photo: Steven GardinerIpswich Town caretaker manager Bryan Klug (centre), flanked by assistants Gerard Nash and Chris Hogg. Photo: Steven Gardiner

The Blues’ season comes to an end with a home game against a Middlesbrough side already guaranteed of a Championship play-off place tomorrow lunchtime (12.30pm ko).

It happens to fall exactly 40 years to the day since Sir Bobby Robson’s men claimed a famous FA Cup Final underdog win against Arsenal at Wembley with several players from that special team set to be introduced to the crowd at half-time.

“When the lads were actually winning the cup I was away with the England youth team and had torn my cruciate ligaments, so I was listening to it in a bed in Poland,” said Klug, who failed to make an appearance for Town between 1977 and 1983.

“That year and what followed was obviously a very, very special time for this club and a very special place to be.

Martyn Waghorn opened the scoring in Ipswich Town's 4-0 win at Reading last weekend. Photo: PagepixMartyn Waghorn opened the scoring in Ipswich Town's 4-0 win at Reading last weekend. Photo: Pagepix

“Those players had the awards dinner the other night and it was fantastic to see them. They are great personalities and were great players. Sunday will be a celebration of them and hopefully that will rub off on our players.”

Town beat Newcastle 3-1 at Portman Road on Easter Monday last year on what was dubbed ‘Sir Bobby Robson Day’. On his former mentor, Klug said: “He was a great man to play for and he helped me a lot on my coaching pathway when I stopped playing because of injury. He didn’t have to do that. Even when he was manager of England he still had a lot of time for me. After that I went over to PSV and watched how he worked too.”

The Blues can finish anywhere between 12th and 15th heading into their final match, while for Middlesbrough it’s case of whether they will end up in fifth or sixth.

“It would be great if we could finish above Norwich,” said Klug, with the Canaries one point ahead and set to face Sheffield Wednesday away. “That would be a great thing for the supporters and we’ll be doing all we can to do that.

Middlesbrough have already booked their play-off place under manager Tony Pulis. Photo: PAMiddlesbrough have already booked their play-off place under manager Tony Pulis. Photo: PA

“Tony Pulis is ultra competitive. If anyone is rested, then whoever comes in will have a massive incentive to impress. I don’t see any way they won’t be fully primed for this game because they want to build momentum going into the play-offs.”

With Jordan Spence and Ben Folami having joined a lengthy injury list this week, Klug said: “That’s something that we’ve got to address next year because it’s not been good for the football club. We’ll have to really assess that, reflect and think about ways to improve that situation because if you haven’t got your best players on the pitch then you are not going to achieve much are you?

“By the way, don’t think that’s me criticising the physios. I’m not. I’m just saying it’s something we need to look at.”

Shane McLoughlin could be the latest Ipswich Town youngster player to be handed their league debut today. Photo: Steve WallerShane McLoughlin could be the latest Ipswich Town youngster player to be handed their league debut today. Photo: Steve Waller

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