Meet Town's opposition: Injury-hit Hull are starting to feel the heat: An opportunity for the Blues?
- Credit: PA
TIGERS FEELING THE PRESSURE
Ipswich Town travel to Hull City tonight, looking for a serious upturn in their fortunes.
Their hosts, having been relegated last season, are looking for a quick bounce back into the Championship - but it's not proving easy. Sound familiar?
And while the Tigers are currently sitting in third place in the table right now, all is not sweetness and light at the KCOM Stadium.
On Saturday they threw away a two goal lead - twice - as Doncaster Rovers nicked a 112th-minute equaliser in a 3-3 draw at the Keepmoat Stadium. Pressure is building on the team and manager Grant McCann.
They have won just one of their last five League One games and have let points slip late on at Swindon, Blackpool and Burton. Expectation is high for a return to the Championship and only a top-two automatic place will appease most Hull fans.
Hull thrashed Town 0-3 at Portman Road back in November. Mallik Wilks opened the scoring after two minutes and Josh Magennis made it 2-0 in first-half added time, with substitute Tom Eaves adding a third.
However, with injuries piling up for Hull, the Blues come up against a team who are feeling the heat a tad.
Could this be a good time for Paul Lambert's side to face the Tigers?
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Eight goals in their last two games - five at Wigan and then three at Doncaster means the Tigers have at least got their growling shooting boots back on.
But recent defeats at Burton and Milton Keynes Dons, just before those two clashes, as well as throwing away the two-goal leads at Doncaster on Saturday, has still left many fans with cause for concern.
Yet, with Wilks and Magennis both in the top 12 of the League One top scorers list, the Tigers have the firepower. They are the League's top scorers on 49 goals - compare that to Ipswich's 30.
INJURY MIDFIELD WOES
Injuries have built up for Hull in recent weeks and there was more concern on Saturday after the Doncaster draw.
The East Yorkshire side had already lost Richie Smallwood, and on Saturday they lost both Greg Docherty and George Honeyman with injuries - Honeyman taken to hospital with a neck injury.
That is boss McCann's first pick midfield trio right there. And it is likely none will be fit for tonight's clash with the Town. It's a big loss for the Hull boss.
While Ipswich Town fans have spent the majority of the 21st Century stuck mid-table in the Championship, Hull City fans have endured a real rollercoaster ride.
Hull were in League Two in 2003, but promotion from that and a subsequent promotion from League One saw back-to-back promotions, putting them in the Championship in 2005.
Just two seasons later Phil Brown steered the Tigers to the Championship play-offs where they beat Bristol City 1-0 in the final at Wembley in 2008. Their ascent from the bottom division of the Football League to the top in just five seasons is the third-fastest ever.
Yet, by 2010 they were relegated, before Steve Bruce took them back into the Premier League in 2012.
Hull were relegated once more from the Premier League after the 2014-15 season, but bounced straight back under Bruce again in 2016.
By the end of 2017 they were relegated back to the Championship and in June 2019 McCann was appointed head coach on a one-year rolling contract.
In a season delayed due to Covid, Hull started 2019 well but lost 16 of their last 20 games, a run that included an 8-0 hammering at Wigan.
On 22 July 2020, Hull were relegated to League One.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Humber Bridge, one of Hull’s best tourist attractions, is the eighth longest suspension bridge in the world and the longest one which you can cycle all the way across!