Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -0°C

Search

‘He should have been here’ – Hugill the one that got away for Town

PUBLISHED: 06:00 04 November 2017

Ipswich Town had two bids for Preston striker Jordan Hugill rejected in January. He's scored seven goals in all competitions so far this seaosn. Photo: PA

Ipswich Town had two bids for Preston striker Jordan Hugill rejected in January. He's scored seven goals in all competitions so far this seaosn. Photo: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Ipswich Town host Preston North End in a Championship match this afternoon (3pm). STUART WATSON previews the action.

Preston North End manager Alex Neil. Photo: PA Preston North End manager Alex Neil. Photo: PA

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy raises his eyebrows and grimaces ruefully at the mention of Jordan Hugill’s name ahead of this afternoon’s Championship clash with Preston North End at Portman Road.

Almost 18 months ago, the Blues boss had identified the burly front man as the ideal replacement for Daryl Murphy at Portman Road.

Two bids – believed to be around £1.5m and £2m – were rebuffed by the Lancashire club back in January, with then Lilywhites boss Simon Grayson joking the player’s price had rocketed to £4m after he netted a late leveller against the Blues.

• ‘I thought we would miss Berra’ – McCarthy on defensive woes

Then the transfer market hyper-inflated and Preston ended up rejecting a staggering £8m offer from Reading over the summer.

“He should have been here really but there you go,” said McCarthy. “We tried to buy him (in January) and we couldn’t do it. That’s the upshot of that. They then wanted big money for him in the summer.”

David McGoldrick should return to the Ipswich Town team today after being rested in midweek. Photo: PA David McGoldrick should return to the Ipswich Town team today after being rested in midweek. Photo: PA

Hugill is not the only Preston player Town have shown an interested in over recent months. Alex Neil – he formerly of Norwich City – has been shopping regularly in the Irish market that McCarthy and his staff know well.

• Nydam and Downes are Championship ‘babies’

“Pretty much everybody looked at (Sean) Maguire, (Daryl) Horgan and (Andy) Boyle,” said the Blues boss. “Plenty looked at them, but fair play to Preston they put the money down for them.”

With the two teams locked on the same number of points in the middle of the Championship table, McCarthy continued: “They’re just like us. I don’t think they were fancied to have such a good start, neither were we. We both seemed to have dropped off and been a little bit more inconsistent.

“He’s having to patch his team up because of injuries and we’re pretty much the same.

“We’re on the same points. We’re both sides that will do very well to get in the top six. It’s an interesting game.”

Seven-goal striker Martyn Waghorn was also rested at Cardiff. Photo: Steve Waller Seven-goal striker Martyn Waghorn was also rested at Cardiff. Photo: Steve Waller

• Garner to put sentiment aside against old club Preston

McCarthy made six changes to the team which won 2-1 at Burton last Saturday for Tuesday night’s 3-1 defeat at Cardiff.

Asked if he’d had half an eye on today’s game with that midweek selection, he replied: “No. I told the players prior to the Burton game that I was going to make changes (at Cardiff).

“We’ve used fewer players than anyone else – 19, I believe.

“I remember the Bristol City game (3-1 home defeat), that was a third game (in eight days) and it was just a game too much for some of them to go at full tilt.

• McCarthy says he would return to Sunderland ‘in a heartbeat’ if he was free and available

“I told them I’d change it, I did and now I’ve got fresh legs.”

With the third international break of the season following today’s match, McCarthy added: “It would be nice to go into it on a high because we haven’t done it for the last two.

“It’s horrible if you’ve lost, whereas if you win you can switch off for a couple of days.”

Mick McCarthy has told teenagers Flynn Downes (pictured) and Tristan Nydam that they will be in and out of the side this season. Photo: Pagepix Mick McCarthy has told teenagers Flynn Downes (pictured) and Tristan Nydam that they will be in and out of the side this season. Photo: Pagepix

• Smith welcomes competition for places in ‘really strong’ Town squad

OPPOSITION LOWDOWN

Team name: Preston North End

Nickname: Lilywhite

Manager: Alex Neil (July ‘17: P16 W5 D6 L5)

Ground: Deepdale

Last three finishes: 11th, 11th (both Championship), 3rd (League One)

Form: LLLDDWDWWD

Current position: 10th

Last result: L 2-0 Aston Villa (a)

Biggest win: 3-0 Cardiff (h) - Sept 12

Biggest defeat: 2-0 Aston Villa (h) – Nov 1

Top-scorers: Hugill (7), Maguire (4)

Most league starts: Maxwell, Barkhuizen (15)

• Like our Facebook page for all the latest Blues news

LAST MEETING

Preston North End 1 Ipswich Town 1

Date: Saturday, January 28, 2017

Tom Lawrence scored another wonder goal after dancing inside from the left (16), but Town were pegged back at the death when transfer target Jordan Hugill rammed home from close-range (89).

The Blues won the earlier reverse fixture 1-0 courtesy of Grant Ward’s early strike.

STAT ATTACK

12 – Goals conceded in last five by Preston

57 – Goals Town striker Joe Garner scored for Preston

2008 – Last time Town lost at home to Preston (P5 W2 D3)

21 – Games without a draw for Town

• QUIZ: Can you name the Town players who featured in FA Cup games against Preston back in January 2014?

TEAM NEWS

Ipswich Town team news

• This game has come too soon for midfield trio Emyr Huws (Achilles), Tom Adeyemi (hamstring) and Teddy Bishop (groin). All three are back in training.

• McCarthy made six changes to the team which secured a 2-1 win at Burton last Saturday for Tuesday night’s 3-1 defeat in Cardiff.

• Martyn Waghorn, David McGoldrick, Freddie Sears, Adam Webster, Jordan Spence and Tristan Nydam were the ones rested in South Wales.

• McCarthy has intimated that teenagers Nydam and Flynn Downes might be taken out of the line of fire.

• Andre Dozzell and Luke Hyam (both knee) remain long-term absentees.

• Preston boss frustrated by Ipswich scouting mission

Preston North End team news

• Alex Neil has seven senior defenders potentially sidelined. Club captain Tom Clarke, stand-in skipper Greg Cunningham, Ben Davies, Tommy Spurr and Marnick Vermijl were already out, while Calum Woods and Josh Earl suffered knee injuries in Wednesday night’s 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa.

• Key centre-back Paul Huntington is available again after a one-match ban.

• Having named much the same side for two games in four days, Neil may freshen things up offensively.

• Ward wants to nail down central role for Town

OPPOSITION KEY MAN

Jordan Hugill

Town might be wishing they’d pushed the boat out a little further to land the all-action front man back in January. The 25-year-old has scored seven goals in all competitions already this season.

REFEREE

Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire)

Games: 9, Yellows: 39, Reds: 4

BETTING

Ipswich Town 9/5

Draw 5/2

Preston North End 17/10

PREDICTION

Ipswich Town 2 Preston North End 1

Town should be fresher, while Preston’s defence is decimated.

Ipswich Town U18 Academy boss Alan Lee is hoping his young charges can keep up the proud Blues tradition of success in youth football, with victory against Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tonight, at Portman Road, 7pm ko.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes young defender Chris Smith returned from his loan spell at Chelmsford ‘more of a bloke’ and is hopeful he has a first team future.

Ipswich Town U23 3

QPR 0

Ben Morris hit a brace and Aaron Drinan opened his account in a blue shirt as an experienced Ipswich Town under 23 side eased past QPR 3-0 at Playford Road today, writes Kieren Standley.

FA Women’s Premier League

South East Division One

Ipswich Town 9

Haringey Borough 0

Ipswich Town Ladies bounced back from last Sunday’s disappointing FA Cup exit to Charlton with an emphatic 9-0 trouncing of bottom of the league Haringey Borough at the Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe, writes Kieren Standley.

Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen is set to appeal the red card given to Eunan O’Kane following his altercation with Jonas Knudsen.

Episode Six: Stuart Watson and Andy Warren are back for another episode of the Kings of Anglia podcast to discuss the win over Leeds, Portman Road atmosphere and the latest transfer news.

Bersant Celina revealed just how much the adulation of the Ipswich Town fans means to him after his latest match-winning effort.

It’s that kind of season. Just when everything seems to be miserable, and the fans’ anger is mounting, along comes a victory to lighten the mood. At least temporarily, writes Northstander Terry Hunt.

Saturday was a much-needed day for Town fans, writes Karl Fuller.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and former Blues boss Roy Keane could be in direct competition for the Republic of Ireland job if Martin O’Neill is lured to Stoke City, according to the Irish Sun.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24