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The Clarets head to Suffolk tomorrow to face Ipswich Town in the fourth round of the FA Cup, our reward for winning at Bournemouth in the last round.

In my report for that 4-2 win at Bournemouth, I did ask that should we be drawn away again, then please not a long distance trip. We’ve been given Ipswich which is going to be another five hundred mile round trip.

We can’t look back at previous FA Cup meetings between the two teams. Tomorrow will be the only occasion we’ve met in the competition and our only cup clash came back in 1977 when, having beaten Chester and Norwich, we went out of the League Cup in a 2-1 home defeat against tomorrow’s opponents.

It’s not easy to think of Ipswich as a third tier side but they suffered relegation from the Championship in 2019, finishing bottom with just 31 points from their 46 games, winning just thee times at home all season. In their three League One seasons they’ve finished in tenth, ninth and eleventh places, never really threatening a promotion but this time round they are third and looking, at least, certain of a play-off place.

We’d never met Ipswich until they became surprise arrivals in the old First Division in 1961. That season, when we looked certain winners, they came through to win the league title under the management of Alf Ramsey. By the end of the sixties, Bobby Robson was about to take them into their golden era and in thirteen years with him, they won the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup.

It’s some boast to have two stands at your ground named after former England managers who were both knighted. Both have statues outside Portman Road.

Today’s Ipswich are managed by former Manchester United coach Kieran McKenna. They dropped into League One with Paul Lambert in charge and he gave way to former Claret Paul Cook before McKenna arrived thirteen months ago.

They surprisingly went out of the League  Cup in the first round, beaten 1-0 at home by Colchester, but they’ve reached the fourth round of the FA Cup and tomorrow’s tie with wins against Bracknell, Buxton and Rotherham. They’ve scored eleven goals too in those three ties including four against Championship club Rotherham in the last round.

McKenna has warned that his side will come up against a Burnley team who are playing like a Premier League side. He said: “I expect a very tough game. Burnley are playing like a Premier League side and are a very good team. They are comfortably a Premier League level of opponent at the moment.

“They have done ever so well this season. They’ve changed their playing style and have recruited fantastically. They have also made good used of the players that we were with them in the Premier League. They have a dominant style of play and it’s something completely different to what we usually face each week. It’s a challenge we are really looking forward to and it should be a good game.”

McKenna has admitted there will be some changes from the team that beat Morecambe 4-0 last Tuesday, although he said he would put out a strong team.

We won’t be at full strength. We know that none of Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Manuel Benson and Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson will be available but this could be the game when Scott Twine, our new free kick magician, could get his first start. It maybe that we get to see some of the latest recruits too with all of Ameen Al-Dakhil, Hjalmar Ekdal and Lyle Foster all available. Although expected to sign, Michael Obafemi’s arrival will have come too late for him to feature.

The Ipswich team that played Morecambe in midweek was: Christian Walton, Harry Clarke, Richard Keogh, George Edmundson, Wes Burns, Lee Evans, Sam Morsy, Leif Davis, Conor Chaplin, Freddie Ladapo, Nathan Broadhead. Subs: Václav Hladky, Marcus Harness, Kayden Jackson, George Hirst, Kyle Edwards, Cameron Humphreys, Janoi Donacien.




Our last visit to Portman Road came early in the 2015/16 season (programme cover shown above). We’d started the season with league draws against Leeds and Birmingham with a poor League Cup performance and exit at Port Vale in between.

Things didn’t get any better at Ipswich in the next game with the home side winning 2-0 with second half goals from Freddie Sears and David McGoldrick.

We were the better of the two teams in the first half and were unfortunate not to go in front through man of the match Michael Kightly whose shot hit the post. Nothing much changed in the second half until, out of the blue, Ipswich scored not once but twice.

From that setback, we never really recovered and didn’t offer much of a threat. It hadn’t been the best of starts to the new season following relegation but better was to come, much better was to come.

The teams were;

Ipswich: Bartosz Bialkowski, Luke Chambers, Tommy Smith, Christophe Berra, Jonas Knudsen, Cole Skuse, Jonathan Douglas, Ryan Fraser (David McGoldrick 28), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Giles Coke 84), Daryl Murphy (Brett Pitman ht), Freddie Sears. Subs not used: Dean Gerken, Josh Emmanuel, Jay Tabb, Larsen Toure.

Burnley: Tom Heaton, Tendayi Darikwa, Michael Duff, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, George Boyd, Scott Arfield, David Jones (Matt Taylor 77), Michael Kightly, Jelle Vossen (Rouwen Hennings 55), Sam Vokes (Lukas Jutkiewicz 66). Subs not used: Matt Gilks, Tom Anderson, Stephen Ward, Marvin Sordell.

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