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Feature

In Focus: Ipswich Town

21 June 2019

Name: Ipswich Town Football Club

Founded: 1878

Ground: Portman Road

Capacity: 30,311

Manager: Paul Lambert

Last season: 24th in the Sky Bet Championship (Relegated)

Ipswich Town will play their football in the third-tier for the first time in 62 years come the start of August following on from last season’s relegation from the Sky Bet Championship.

The Tractor Boys finished bottom of the division after a stay on 17 consecutive campaigns in the second-tier, winning five of their 46 games and ending last term on 31 points to prop up the standings.

Three of their victories came in front of their own supporters at Portman Road, beating Wigan Athletic 1-0, Rotherham United 1-0 before a final day home 3-2 triumph over Leeds United.

Ipswich also recorded two wins on their travels, defeating Swansea City 3-2 in October prior to seeing off fellow relegated side Bolton Wanderers 2-1 at the University of Bolton Stadium in April.

Managed by Paul Lambert, who was previously in charge of Town’s East Anglian rivals Norwich City, the Suffolk outfit will be one of the favourites for promotion.

Glasgow-native Lambert took over Ipswich last October, replacing Paul Hurst in the Portman Road hotseat, but he was unable to revive the Blues’ fortunes as they slipped into Sky Bet League One.

As a player, midfielder Lambert turned professional with St Mirren in 1986 after coming through the youth ranks at the Paisley club, making 227 league appearances – winning the Scottish Cup in 1987 – over a seven-year stay.

Lambert then moved to Motherwell for £250,000 in 1993, turning out a further 103 times at Fir Park before moving to Germany where Borussia Dortmund secured his services in 1996 – winning the 1997 UEFA Cup with Die Borussen.

Later in his career, Lambert, a former Scotland international, returned to his homeland, going onto represent Celtic after signing for £2m in 1997 – winning four Scottish titles, two Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups in eight-years and 193 appearances.

He retired at Livingston in 2005 before taking up their managerial vacancy but was on the move south to England, taking charge of Wycombe Wanderers and Colchester United in his early career as a boss.

In 2009 he was appointed as Norwich City manager and led the Canaries to back-to-back promotions in 2010 and 2011 as they reached the Premier League.

Since leaving Carrow Road in 2012, Lambert has been in charge of Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City before the 49-year-old’s switch to Ipswich last October.

It has been 19-years since Tranmere Rovers and Ipswich Town last met, with the most recent fixture between the two sides ending in a 2-0 defeat at Prenton Park in March 2000.

In total, TRFC have won six, drawn three and lost seven against the Tractor Boys.


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