Can Town break their cup hoodoo?

CAN Ipswich Town end their League Cup hoodoo when they take on Leyton Orient at Portman Road on Tuesday?

Elvin King

CAN Ipswich Town end their League Cup hoodoo when they take on Leyton Orient at Portman Road on Tuesday?

Blues fans have been fed on a diet of frustrating failure in this competition in recent campaigns - with first round penalty shoot-out defeats in the last two years.

Town have only reached the second round twice in the previous five seasons.

With home advantage against League Two opposition, surely the Blues can make some sort of an impact in a tournament where they have been beaten semi-finalists three times.

Run under a number of different guises since its inception in 1960/61, the League Cup is currently known as the Carling Cup.

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There was never any confirmation that Joe Royle took the competition that seriously - taking a win if it came his way, but often experimenting somewhat with his side and making no bones that the league was his main concern.

His successor in the Portman Road hot seat - Jim Magilton - sees things differently although not afraid to make the odd change to his side if he thinks the experience will benefit one or two of his squad members.

In Magilton's first season in charge Town lost 4-2 on penalties after drawing 2-2 at Peterborough and 12 months ago they were beaten 5-3 on penalties after a 3-3 draw at MK Dons after extra time.

The previous year - under Royle - Town lost 2-0 at home to Yeovil.

It was in 2002/03 that Ipswich last went beyond the second round - losing on penalties to Liverpool in the fourth round after a 1-1 draw at Anfield.

This campaign the emphasis will be based more than ever on the league with owner Marcus Evans making no secret that he wants the Blues in the Premier League as soon as possible.

But Blues fans, who continue to turn out in numbers when it comes to spending extra on cup matches, deserve some Carling joy.

The FA Cup has also been barren territory for Town in recent years, and with just three trophies to aim for each year Ipswich supporters have been short changed for long enough.

Leyton Orient are there to be beaten - although they will no doubt rise to the occasion playing at Portman Road in front of a sizable crowd.

A win for the Blues over the O's could perhaps spark a run that could help breed the winning confidence necessary to make an impact in the Coca-Cola Championship.

It was in 1981/82 that Town first reached the League Cup semi-final when they lost 4-2 over two legs to Liverpool - at home 0-2 and then away 2-2.

Season 1984/85 saw the Blues reach the last four again - and this time the body blow of missing out on Wembley was heightened because Norwich City were the victors.

The Canaries lost 1-0 at Portman Road but triumphed 2-0 in the second leg at Carrow Road.

Under George Burley, Ipswich again won their way through to the semi-final in 2000/01 before losing to Birmingham City. A Marcus Stewart penalty sealed a 1-0 home leg win, but Birmingham came good in the second leg winning 4-1 after extra time.

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TOWN'S RECENT LEAGUE CUP RECORD

2000/01

Round 2 - first leg Millwall (a) 0-2, second leg Millwall (h) 5-0.

Round 3 - Arsenal (a) 2-1.

Round 4 - Coventry (h) 2-1.

Round 5 - Manchester City (a) 2-1 after extra time.

Semi-final - first leg Birmingham 1-0 (h), second leg Birmingham 4-1 (a) after extra time.

2001/02

Round 3 Crewe (a) 3-2.

Round 4 Newcastle (a) 1-4.

2002/03

Round 2 Brighton (h) 3-1.

Round 3 Middlesbrough (h) 3-1.

Round 4 Liverpool (a) 1-1 (lost 5-4 on penalties)

2003/04

Round 1 Kidderminster (h) 1-0 after extra time

Round 2 Notts County (a) 1-2

2004/05

Round 1 Brentford (h) 2-0

Round 2 Doncaster (a) 0-2

2005/06

Round 1 Yeovil (h) 0-2

2006/07

Round 1 Peterborough (a) 2-2 after extra time (lost 4-2 on penalties)

2007/08

Round 1 MK Dons (a) 3-3 after extra time (lost 5-3 on penalties)

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