Wark calls for Town cup run

ONE of Ipswich Town's 1978 Wembley heroes, John Wark, today called on the Blues to give their supporters an FA Cup treat this season.The Blues face either League Two Bury or Chester City away in the third round on the weekend of January 6 and 7.

By Elvin King

ONE of Ipswich Town's 1978 Wembley heroes, John Wark, today called on the Blues to give their supporters an FA Cup treat this season.

The Blues face either League Two Bury or Chester City away in the third round on the weekend of January 6 and 7.

And Wark, who struck a post twice in the 1-0 win over Arsenal at the now demolished twin-towered stadium 29 seasons ago, says this gives Jim Magilton's side an ideal chance to start a cup run.

Wark struck one of the goals - George Burley got the other - when Ipswich last played Chester in the most romantic of all football competitions in 1980.

“A top-six finish is looking hard to achieve for Ipswich in the Championship,” said Wark, who now does hospitality work at Portman Road on match days.

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“So it is even more important to have a cup run this season.

“Fans love the competition and 1978 is still fresh in the memory of everyone who watched the game either live or on television.

“It is not like the Carling Cup, where, with respect, you can understand weakened teams being fielded at times.

“If Ipswich put together three or four straight league victories they could move close to the top six.

“Hopefully they can, but if not the Cup can still give supporters something to remember the season by.”

Ipswich have beaten league opposition just once in the FA Cup since a John McGreal own goal won them a tie at Tranmere in 1998/99.

This was against a poor Derby County side at home three seasons ago, with defeats coming against Everton, Southampton, Sunder-land, twice, Manchester City, Sheffield United, Bolton and Portsmouth.

Non-league Morecambe and Dagenham and Redbridge have been the only successes in the last eight campaigns apart from Derby.

“Chester gave us a good game in 1980, but we won comfortably enough 2-1,” added Wark. “It was Ian Rush's Chester debut and he regularly recalled it when we became Liverpool team mates.

“We were a big team in those days and it was a big day for Chester.”

Bury have never played Ipswich in the FA Cup. On Saturday, Chester and Bury drew 2-2 at Gigg Lane with the replay at the Deva Stadium next Tuesday, December 12.

Magilton, who will welcome keeping away from a Premiership giant, was relatively pleased with the 1-1 Championship home draw with Burnley.

He said: “It was a hard-earned point. My team is not far away and, once they build their confidence, they will take some stopping.

“Burnley came with a game plan and were very difficult to break down.”

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