Robson's third time lucky hopes
BOBBY Robson is hoping it's a case of third time lucky at Portman Road tomorrow.The 68-year-old Newcastle chief has suffered defeats at both his former clubs, Ipswich last season and Fulham earlier in the current campaign.
By Mel Henderson
BOBBY Robson is hoping it's a case of third time lucky at Portman Road tomorrow.
The 68-year-old Newcastle chief has suffered defeats at both his former clubs, Ipswich last season and Fulham earlier in the current campaign.
He was given a tremendous reception when he returned to Suffolk last season for his first competitive game since putting the club on the European map in the 70s.
Robson was visibly moved by the welcome he received, but on the field it was a huge let-down as his injury-hit team under-performed on the day.
Marcus Stewart's penalty was enough to beat them, although there was plenty of sympathy for Robson that what looked a perfectly good goal by Carl Cort was ruled out.
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Three weeks ago, Robson again got a standing ovation, this time from the Fulham fans after two stints spanning 10 years as a player at Craven Cottage.
But once again United disappointed and could not win it for their popular boss, going down 3-1 at the London venue where Robson also cut his teeth in management 33 years ago.
Now United have a great chance of making their manager's day against a bottom-of-the-table Town side who may well be feeling the effects of last night's UEFA Cup defeat in Milan on Thursday.
Robson recalled: "We didn't have the best of teams available to us when we went to Ipswich last season and then we had Nobby Solano sent off.
"And against Fulham three weeks ago we started off well but didn't see it through.
"Despite the disappointment at Fulham and Charlton's late fightback last Saturday, we are still going to Ipswich in fourth place in the table and with a lot to play for.
"But every match seems important to us these days and we know there are no easy games in the Premiership.
"In fact, I find it incredible that Chelsea could win at Manchester United and Leeds, and then lose at home to Charlton Athletic this week."
Robson is in no rush to recall fit-again former Ipswich midfielder Kieron Dyer, whose best bet is to win a place on the bench tomorrow.
Despite coming through Wednesday's reserve game at Bolton Wanderers with flying colours, Dyer will definitely not start at Portman Road.
Robson said: "Kieron played for an hour at Bolton on Wednesday night and did alright until he ran out of steam. But he will not start at Ipswich.
"I will have a talk with him after our Saturday training session, then decide whether to put him on the bench.
"He is very close now and after our next two matches he will be a lot closer to starting a game for us again."
Despite Dyer's return to the Newcastle squad for the first time since February, it will be a major surprise if Robson does not rely on an unchanged side for tomorrow's game.