Also known as: The Tractor Boys
Ground: Portman Road
Year Formed: 1878
FootyMad Site: www.ipswichtown-mad.co.uk
Manager: Mick McCarthy (since November 2012) P: 185 W: 75 D: 53 L: 57
Odds to win the League: 40/1. Odds for Promotion: 11/1 Top Six Finish: 7/2 Odds for Relegation: 7/1 (as of 2nd August)
League (Championship): W: 18 D: 15 L: 13 F: 53 A: 51 GD: +2 Points: 69
Home Record: W: 9 D: 8 L: 6 F: 28 A: 24
Away Record: W: 9 D: 7 L: 7 F: 25 A: 27
Top Scorer: Brett Pitman (11)
Worst Discipline: Jonathon Douglas (7 yellows, 1 red)
FA Cup: Third Round Replay (lost 2-1 to Portsmouth)
League Cup: Third Round (lost 3-0 to Manchester United)
Last Five League Positions: 7th (Championship), 6th (Championship), 9th (Championship), 14th (Championship), 15th (Championship)
Head To Head v Barnsley: W: 21 D: 9 L: 13
Last season v Barnsley: N/A
Last Meetings with Barnsley: 8/2/14 Barnsley (Chris O’Grady 12, Tomasz Cywka 74) 2-2 Ipswich (Christophe Berra 81, David McGoldrick 84) 1/11/13 Ipswich (Daryl Murphy 41) 1-1 Barnsley (Jim O’Brien 70)
Last Five Results v Barnsley: drew 2-2, drew 1-1, drew 1-1, drew 1-1, won 1-0.
Meet in 2016-2017 on: Saturday 6th August at Portman Road & Saturday 11th March at Oakwell.
View From The Terrace
Name and/or website: Harry Wainwright, blogger at Ipswich Town fan site TWTD
Club: Ipswich Town
Level of Interest: I made to it to about a third of last seasons games.
How has pre-season gone for you so far?
It has been steady rather than spectacular. At the time of writing, our most exotic games against Charlton and Belgian outfit Royal Union St Gilloise have yet to take place, so we have played at Shelbourne (2-1), Barnet (0-1), Colchester (1-0) and Cambridge United (1-1). In all of these games, the 10 outfield players have all been substituted at some point so it has been a question of looking at combinations.
That said, we struggled last season without four key creative players for much of the campaign. David McGoldrick, Teddy Bishop, Daryl Murphy and Bournemouth loanee Ryan Fraser were all absent for large chunks of the campaign. Bishop is fully fit and McGoldrick and Murphy will hopefully be ready for our season opener at Portman Road. It’s fair to say that fans were more buoyant 12 months ago after our run to the play-offs.
Are you pleased with the signings your club has made?
Our defence has been unbalanced without a right-footed right-centre-half for over two seasons, so the arrival of Adam Webster from Portsmouth for £750,000 is lavish by our standards. He picked up a knock in pre-season and Mick McCarthy has said that he may not be ready for our season opener.
I have seen Paul Digby twice in pre-season in his new position at right-centre-half. He looks solid in one-v-one challenges, is comfortable on the ball and he played one peach of a pass in for Brett Pitman’s goal at Colchester, but his inner-midfielder can get the better of him and he can lose position. He is a work-in-progress in this new role but the signs are promising.
What realistically are you aiming for this season?
If we stay injury-free, a top six place is achievable, especially if Mick can sort out the defensive balance. Another injury-blighted campaign and we will finish in the top half, but outside the play-offs.
Which player has past his sell by date?
Jonathan Douglas was picked up last summer from Brentford and he activated an appearance-related extension to remain for the coming campaign. While his effort and commitment are not in question, he has been guilty of moments of carelessness such as picking up a red card at Birmingham for a poor studs-up challenge and for costly wayward passes seeing us getting hit on the counter.
Have you got the right manager in charge?
Without question. Mick McCarthy performed miracles in getting an unbalanced, injury-hit squad to seventh place last season while spending next to nothing on transfers. The football has not always been pleasing on the eye but he has got the best out of limited resources. Any criticism from a minority is more likely to be aimed at owner Marcus Evans for not giving Mick enough backing.
What advice would you give him?
I would be nervous offering Mick any advice, but getting the balance of the defence right is our most important project this coming season and would be a major improvement. We lack out-and-out wingers up front but we have good creative attacking players who are familiar enough with each other and they will knit together with time on the pitch and on the training ground.
Who do you see as your key player?
David McGoldrick returned for our last game of the season at Derby in May and the Rams struggled to deal with him. His creativity and footballing intelligence is a level above the Championship and we are lighting candles in the hope that he will stay fit this coming season.
Who would you most like to beat this season?
The Budgies are back with us this season having had two relegations in three years, and our August derby game at Portman Road will be huge. Although we gave them a fright in the play-offs two years ago, we have not beaten them in a while and it is about time the natural order in East Anglia was restored.
Where will you finish?
If we stay injury free, top six is achievable, otherwise it will be last season revisited with a top half finish.
How do you rate Barnsley's chances next season and where do you think they will finish?
Barnsley seem to be following the model set by Bristol City and Preston last season, bringing in a sprinkling of talented younger prospects while keeping quality existing players such as Adam Hammill. They probably won’t all click, but a mid-table finish is realistic given the barnstorming run you went on last season. Keep that form and that mentality going and you should consolidate last season’s work.
This is not just being polite, but many Town fans were rooting for you in your Wembley play-off. Any Ipswich fan who was at our 2000 play-off game will talk fondly of how gracious Barnsley fans were after the full-time whistle and how you wished us well despite what was really a narrow defeat. We hope you do well, and not least because our games tend to be quite memorable - as anyone at that mad 5-3 game in 2011 with testify.