Steve Cotterill is always keen to point out that every League One game is a challenge but tomorrow’s trip to take on the division’s third-placed side, who are in the midst of a promotion battle with Plymouth and Sheffield Wednesday, will be difficult at best.
However, over the course of the 36 games, we have come to learn that regardless of how challenging a game might look, Salop have the drive and desire to compete and go toe-to-toe with their opponents – it is hard to think this weekend will be any different.
They are ravaged by injuries, though. Killian Phillips took a nasty blow to the head in the game at Pride Park and he has missed the last two league clashes – Cotterill said they are still following concussion protocols with the energetic midfielder. Christian Saydee did not feature in the win at Morecambe last weekend after he pulled up in training with a hamstring issue – but speaking before the game the boss confirmed the forward is doing ‘better’ but it is still too early to decide whether he will be fit enough to be involved in the clash against The Tractor Boys.
And Tom Bayliss is also nursing an injury, it looked to be a nasty knock on his ankle at the end of the clash with the Shrimps which saw him hobble off gingerly.
But it turns out the Shrewsbury midfielder fell down a hole in the penalty area and they are hoping to hear more soon.
Town’s form since the turn of the year has been superb, winning eight League One clashes, losing three and drawing two.
They will want to maintain that this weekend as they search for a positive end to what has been a very successful season so far.
The reverse fixture when The Tractor Boys visited Shrewsbury back in August was one of the only times this season Town have lost with the margin of defeat being more than a goal – that game finished 3-0 in Shropshire.
The only other times this has happened when Town have had all 11 men on the pitch was when they lost 2-0 at Cheltenham.
They did lose by three against Fleetwood on New Year’s Day but there were mitigating circumstances on that occasion.
Matthew Pennington was unfairly and incorrectly dismissed early into the game, meaning Salop had to play for more than 70 minutes with 10.
Their hosts for this weekend have won five games in succession and have not conceded a goal in League One in their last six games.
The former Middlesbrough and Wigan man Sam Morsy is a massive player for Ipswich and he was influential in the first game when they met in August.
Conor Chaplin has also been in great goal-scoring form for them this season with his 16 league goals – including four in his last five.