max temp: 3°C

min temp: 3°C


Town’s clash with Hull remains in doubt as Blues work to guarantee supporters’ safety during big freeze

PUBLISHED: 17:42 01 March 2018 | UPDATED: 18:20 01 March 2018

Ipswich Town's game with Hull is in doubt due to the weather. Picture: ITFC

Ipswich Town's game with Hull is in doubt due to the weather. Picture: ITFC


Ipswich Town officials will meet on Friday morning to discuss Saturday’s home clash with Hull City, which is under threat due to the snow and cold weather that has hit the town this week.

The snowy scene at Portman Road on Thursday morning. The snowy scene at Portman Road on Thursday morning.

The club has vowed to do all it can to ensure the game goes ahead, both in regard to maintaining the Portman Road pitch and ensuring the stadium and surrounding areas are safe for supporters.

The playing surface has been covered since Monday afternoon, with the layer of heavy snow removed and placed in the lower tiers of the stadium to enable the pitch covers to be raised and hot air blowers to be deployed.

MORE: ‘There might be a few more long-sleeved shirts’ - Webster wants to play on through the snow

Further bouts of heavy snow, which are forecast between now and Saturday, will mean the covers must be lowered given they are not able to take the weight of the snow. The club are confident, though, that the playing surface will be ready for 3pm on Saturday,

A major concern is the safety of supporters and staff, both in the stadium and the areas leading up to Portman Road, with serious concerns given there is no significant raise in termperature forecast.

Inside the stadium, the big freeze has caused concerns as well with some toilets in the Sir Bobby Robson Stand frozen, with the club’s stadium manager Greg Pillinger insisting the game will be called off unless safety can be assured.

The Portman Road pitch has been covered since Monday afternoon. Picture: ITFC The Portman Road pitch has been covered since Monday afternoon. Picture: ITFC

MORE: McCarthy says tactical tweaks prove he is not a ‘silly, belligerent old man’

“There are doubts over the game going ahead as we stand at the moment,” he said.

“The safety of the supporters is priority and if we can’t guarantee that with the conditions, then the game can’t go ahead.

“All the concourses and seating needs to be safe for the public to view the match along with the perimeter of the stadium and routes to and from bus stops, car parks and the railway station. This has involved consultation with the local authorities.

“Likewise the police and the Highways Authority have been consulted for their views on the major road networks leading to and from Portman Road.

MORE: ‘I don’t want to jinx myself but this is a good start’ - Carayol wants to make a bigger impact

“Importantly our own matchday staff, both stewards, catering and corporate all need to be able to get to the stadium safely and in the correct numbers, in particular the stewards to ensure we meet the minimum numbers to adhere to the safety certificate.

“So there is much more to it than getting the pitch playable but we are doing all we can to get the game on.”

The players have trained as normal ahead of the game, with defender Adam Webster insisting he and his team-mates want to play despite the weather.

“Definitely, we all want the game to be on so we’re preparing right, just like we always do,” the defender said.

“It’s just another game so we don’t have to change anything, although there might be a few more long-sleeved shirts out.

MORE: Skuse on his coaching notebook, following Chambers and his starting place as he reaches 200 Town games

A snow-covered Portman Road on Wednesday. Picture: ITFC A snow-covered Portman Road on Wednesday. Picture: ITFC

“It hasn’t disrupted things too much but obviously it isn’t ideal.

“Everyone enjoys it for the first day and then you just want it to go away, but hopefully it can settle down a bit.

“It hasn’t stopped our preparations at all and we’ll prepare in exactly the same way so it shouldn’t stop us.

“We had three games in six days last week so obviously we needed a little bit of time to recover from that, but everything’s been fine since.”

FACEBOOK: Follow us on Facebook for all the latest Blues news, views interviews and videos

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers hopes striker David McGoldrick has not played his last game for the club.

Season ticket prices, whether we’ll hear from owner Marcus Evans and manager Mick McCarthy’s future are the three big questions as Ipswich Town head into a two-week international break.

Did you hear about the Mick McCarthy press conference? He walked into the room, sat down, and apologised profusely to the loyal fans of Ipswich Town, writes Northstander Terry Hunt.

Defender Jordan Spence has insisted he and his team-mates will never stop giving their all for manager Mick McCarthy.

A fortnight for the fog to clear – but unfortunately it doesn’t look like Ipswich Town fans are going to get the full clarity they need.

In his latest Ipswich Town column, Karl Fuller pens an open letter to Blues owner Marcus Evans...

Ipswich Town defender Cameron Carter-Vickers has been called up to the United States squad for their friendly with Paraguay during the international break.

Jordan Spence was disappointed he and the rest of the Ipswich Town defence were unable to deal with the threat of towering striker Milan Djuric as they slipped to defeat at Ashton Gate.

Match highlights from Ipswich Town’s 1-0 defeat away at Bristol City.

Ipswich Town could look to bring Jordan Rhodes back to the club on loan in the summer, according to reports in the national press.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24