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Preview: Blues v Ipswich Town

It will be difficult, they might come and try to frustrate. We have to overcome that. We need our fans to understand that as well.

Garry Monk

A full match preview ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship fixture between Blues and Ipswich Town at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Garry Monk asked if he thought Blues' first win of the campaign at Leeds reinforced to his players that they were progressing along the right lines...
"Wins are the icing on the cake, that’s what we are here for, players, staff, management, fans. We want to be winning games continuously. I have said it quite a few times that belief wasn’t dented, confidence wasn’t dented. But we have got to show it’s more than words, we have got to show it in performances. And I think the players have done that. The ultimate acid test is are they enjoying the work they are doing and doing it with a real zest about them and endeavour and quality? I think we showed that in pretty much all our games, so I never worried about it but of course I still wanted the wins to come because that can boost it, that extra bit of confidence and feeling in the week when you have won a game."

Garry Monk asked about his approach to the Ipswich game and if it would be up to Blues to set the tempo...
"Possibly, we won’t really now until the game is set how they are going to approach it, but our record at home, coming off the back of a win, we have set out for different scenarios. It is going to be a tough game, but we need to be ready for whatever scenarios, them defensively, them offensively and make sure we are ready to be able to deal with both. We have to be one hundred per cent, we are not a team that can be 70 per cent. It will be difficult, they might come and try to frustrate. We have to overcome that. We need our fans to understand that as well. If they come to frustrate, a little like QPR did, we need patience from fans, but we need that noise and we also need to be able to overcome that with our performance. We have done more than enough to already give that home win to the fans, but the fact of the matter is we haven’t delivered that. Our motivation this week is to try and give our fans that win, it’s important to us."

Garry Monk on what he has made of Ipswich this season...
"At home they have been very unlucky, they have drawn five at home, drawn a lot of games like we have. I think away from home probably not as positive as they would have liked. But the Championship is the Championship, the competitiveness is the hardest bit. The quality and style changes from game to game but the competitiveness doesn’t. Each game is ultra-competitive. They will come here one hundred per cent committed to what they are trying to do. They want that win. We were in that position just one game ago, it’s fresh in our minds, we know what their mentality will be. Going to the league leaders highlights us maybe a little bit more to the league, maybe they will pay us a bit more attention. But we will have to be ready for all that. Number one our motivation is to give our fans the win and overcome whatever is in front of us even though we know how hard that will be."

Garry Monk on the message he is giving to his players ahead of taking on Ipswich...
"The message from the changing room up until this point and will continue into this game, is that there is no underestimating Ipswich. They are winless at this moment in time, but we were in the same situation one game ago. They will be thinking exactly the same as what we were thinking trying to win a game. We have to be very clear about that, that’s the message me and my staff have been putting to the players all week. I don’t think we have got the type of players that will under-estimate that because then that’s an advantage for the opposition. We have to go with the same mentality we have been showing and put 100 per cent on the pitch. We know it’s going to be difficult, we know how they are thinking so we have to be wary of that and ready to combat that. We were dangerous because we had that mentality, we need to keep that mentality and understand that’s what we are going to be facing. We are under no illusions."

Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst's comments ahead of the game...
"Overall I think the lads are in good spirts. They have to keep believing. I’ve got my part to play in that, but they also have to do that themselves individually and collectively. There’s no point me just saying it or the crowd really cheering them on. They’ve got to have that belief because they are the ones out on the pitch. I’ve said before that I’m a realist and I understand the job that I’m in and how the season has gone so far in terms of results. The positives last week were that we kept a clean sheet and we move up a place. We weren’t out partying thinking we’ve cracked it, but it was a small step forward. Granted it was a very, very small step. I genuinely believe that we will win a game of football, whether it’s Saturday or the next couple of weeks, playing worse than we have done so far. I’m not saying that it’s been absolutely brilliant, but I guarantee you we will play worse and win a game of football."

Blues team news…
Midfielder Gary Gardner is available after recovering for the knock that saw him limp off in last weekend's away win at Leeds United. His brother Craig is back in training after missing Blues' last three games because of a knock. Isaac Vassell (hip) is expected to return to full training in five weeks. David Davis (ankle) is a long-term absentee.

Ipswich Town team news...
On-loan Burnley striker Jon Walters is out for six months with the Achilles injury he picked up in last weekend's game against Bolton. Freddie Sears has overcome a groin problem and will travel with the squad. Andre Dozzell remains out with injury and Ipswich boss Paul Hurst says a couple of other players have taken knocks in training and were major doubts, but he refused to disclose who they were.

Last five meetings between Blues and Ipswich Town...
Championship 31 March 2018 Blues 1 Ipswich 0
Championship 05 Aug 2017 Ipswich 1 Blues 0
Championship 01 Apr 2017 Ipswich 1 Blues 1
Championship 13 Dec 2016 Blues 2 Ipswich 1
Championship 23 Jan 2016 Blues 3 Ipswich 0

Form guide. Last five Championship fixtures....
Blues: DDDDW
Ipswich: LDLDD

Ticket news...
Tickets are on general sale. For prices and purchasing details, please click here.

BluesTV…
We are broadcasting the game live to overseas subscribers. Blues fans in the UK will be able listen to audio commentary with expert analysis from Jon Bell and Keban Broadhurst. For full details about the new-look BluesTV, please click here.

Match officials…
John Brooks will take charge of Saturday's fixture. So far this season, the Leicestershire-based official has refereed eight games, where he has produced a total of 38 yellow cards and one red. This will be the first time that he has taken of a Blues game. The last Ipswich game Mr Brook's referee was Town's 0-0 home draw against Sheffield United in March 2018.Three players were booked in that fixture; including Carl Skuse and Stephen Gleeson for Ipswich. Mr Brooks will be assisted on Saturday by Akil Howson and Adam Crysell with Darren Drysdale acting as the fourth official.

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