Town v Rotherham – Preview
Town will be looking to return to winning ways when Rotherham visit Portman Road this evening.
Town suffered their first defeat of the season at Accrington Stanley on Sunday but remain top of the table after Wycombe’s 1-1 draw against Blackpool last night. That point has put Gareth Ainsworth’s men level on points with Town but have played two games more and have an inferior goal difference to Town.
Boss Paul Lambert will be looking for a reaction from his side following Sunday’s result: “You bounce back, that’s how you do it but our form has been unbelievable,” he said after Saturday’s match.
“We’ve been in really good form, we’re a really good side and we’ve just been beaten on a given day, which I knew would happen, whether it was going to be here or in 30 games’ time.
“I’ve been involved in football a long, long time. I’ve lost games and bounced back, bounced back every time.
“If we go another run like we’ve just been on, we’ll be right in the mix. But I’m not going to turn around and say ‘We lost one game and everybody’s downbeat’, nothing like that whatsoever.
“The challenge is there, we’ll have a challenge again because we’re a big club. Whether we win, lose or draw we’re a big club.
“When you lose people say ‘Are you disappointed?’. But we’re top of the league, I can’t be too critical of the team they’ve been fantastic for me.
“I said a few weeks ago there’s got to be a realism. Nobody would ever think that Man City would lose to Norwich or lose to Wolves, but that’s football. It’s how you bounce back and the good teams always bounce back.”
Town will be making changes ahead of tonight’s game but Tomas Holy will continue in goal. James Wilson is set to return in place of Toto Nsiala who suffered a difficult opening half at Accrington. The former Stanley man was making his first start of the season but after receiving a yellow card and conceding a penalty he was withdrawn at half time. Wilson is set to join Luke Chambers and Woolfenden at the heart of the defence.
Lambert will be waiting on the fitness of Kane Vincent-Young but if the former Colchester man is not ready for a return Gwion Edwards will continue to deputise. Luke Garbutt will continue on the left.
Emyr Huws is likely to start in midfield after Lambert indicated he was preferred for tonight’s clash instead of Sunday’s game. It is unclear if Huws will partner Cole Skuse, replacing Andre Dozzell, or if Flynn Downes will return with Huws then replacing Jon Nolan.
Alongside Huws, Lambert also indicated Will Keane will be in-line for a role to play tonight. That could be the start if Lambert believes James Norwood isn’t fit, replacing Alan Judge to partner Kayden Jackson in a more conventional front two.
Rotherham’s fine run of form ended when play-off chasing Oxford recorded an impressive 2-1 victory at the AESSEAL New York Stadium last Saturday.
The Millers had won three games on the bounce in all competitions before that defeat including an impressive 2-1 victory away to high-flying Blackpool.
Paul Warne’s men have a mixed bag of results on the road this campaign, but having already picked up a point away to Sunderland back in September, they will be confident of a similar performance in this repeat Championship fixture from last season.
Rotherham are still awaiting the verdict on how long Scotsman Clark Robertson will be injured for after he missed last week’s game against Oxford with a groin problem.
Rotherham assistant manager Richie Barker is expecting a difficult test this evening against a much changed Town side: “To go towards the end of October before losing your first game marks an excellent start and they are clearly the early pacesetters. They kept the majority of their squad from last season and they were pretty much everybody’s favourites to go straight back up to the Championship.
“They’re a massive club and the fans have definitely stuck with them because they’re still getting brilliant home support. Paul Lambert is also an experienced manager who’s been successful at all different levels.
“I watched their game against Accrington and they had a few players missing, so I’m expecting a completely different Ipswich side and performance from them on Wednesday night. If they get a few of their key men back, it will obviously make it a little bit more difficult.”
Town have won 15 of the previous games between the sides, eight have ended in draws, with the Millers having won nine.
Wednesday’s referee is John Busby from Oxfordshire, who has shown 49 yellow cards and four red in 13 games so far this season. Busby will be refereeing his first Town match.