Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman has revealed he told Paul Cook his Ipswich Town side would click into gear before the meeting between the two sides this weekend, speaking to the Lancashire side’s media team.
The Tractor Boys have struggled to get going this season after bringing in 19 signings in the summer transfer window, recruiting numerous players of Championship quality and all of a sudden, establishing themselves on paper as favourites to win promotion back to the second tier.
The likes of Conor Chaplin, George Edmundson, Tom Carroll and Sone Aluko all played in the division above last term, but were persuaded by the rebuilding project to arrive at Portman Road ahead of what was previously expected to be a League One title push.
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However, the Suffolk outfit’s failure to win any of their opening six league games of the campaign left them fighting at the bottom end of the table, in what was a disastrous start at Portman Road considering the expectations surrounding them.
They have gone unbeaten in their last three matches though and won 6-0 against Doncaster Rovers in midweek, in what was a much-needed victory to set them on a brighter course for the remainder of the season.
Ahead of his clash with Ipswich, Stanley manager John Coleman revealed he predicted that the Tractors Boys would finally get themselves on track, saying: “Paul (Cook) knows all our staff, we know all his staff – probably most of his staff have played for Accrington!
“It’s not a grudge match, so to speak. Historically when we play each other we don’t speak that week although we did do an EFL podcast on Thursday morning.
“What I know is that we won’t play Ipswich, who scored six mid-week, and park the bus. I would never do that, I would never do it to our fans, it’s not in my nature.
“I told Cooky six weeks ago he will get it right for when they play us!
“They have a good side, probably early on was a good time to play them when they were trying to gel but you play everyone at some point and bring it on.”
Although Ipswich Town’s start to the season was a little bit of a shock, you can probably understand why they did after bringing in 19 players and replacing the vast majority of their squad.
Because this rebuild was so huge, they didn’t even have a spine to their team to work with and utilise heavily whilst the new signings were settling in, but manager Paul Cook will be hoping his patience and this suffering will be rewarded from now until the end of the campaign.
There are still plenty of games left for his side to get themselves in contention for a place in the top six next May – and with the strength in depth they have – you wouldn’t rule them out of the running. Barnsley climbed from 21st to fifth last term – and that should act as a major source of inspiration in Suffolk.
Whether things have finally clicked into place still remains to be seen after only going unbeaten in their last three, but if they can continue replicating their performance against Doncaster Rovers consistently, things will be looking up for them.
Consistency is key though and without it, they won’t be climbing up to the Championship anytime soon, regardless of how good they look on paper after a remarkable summer.