Follow us on Twitter @claretandview // Words by Harry Trend (@HazaTrand)
My name is Connor Bennett (@Connorbennett10) and I’m a 20-year old sports Journalism student. I’m originally from Suffolk although currently studying at the university of Brighton, and (unfortunately) am a Tractor Boy through and through. I’ve followed Ipswich for as long as I can remember, from my season ticket days in the Sir Bobby Robson upper stand to playing In the youth set up. In Suffolk, it’s a flat, field filled green patch of nothingness, so supporting the blues is pretty much all there is to do.
What were your expectations for Ipswich going into the season?
After an ABYSMAL season last season, if I’m honest I expected much of the same. Mick’s head was being called for and understandably so, after a string of poor performances and a lacklustre season, we managed the mighty heights of 16th. However, whether it was ‘ In Mick we trust’ or ‘in Mick we rust’ last season (yes, that is actually what they were referred to as), everyone should be satisfied with the start we’ve had.
How would you rate your season so far out of 10 and why?
The season’s start has been very very interesting. After a flying start, we have lacked consistency, putting in real shifts and gritty performances one week, but a bang average on the next. However, the people Mick has brought in has certainly lifted the place. The Town fans crave a bit of flair after watching our centre halves launch the ball up to like of Daryl Murphy up top, and that’s exactly what we seem to have now, with players like Bersant Celina and David McGoldrick.
Which Ipswich players should Villa be wary of?
Villa have been lucky. Town’s brightest light David McGoldrick was injured (as per usual) in the mid-week home draw to Sheffield Wednesday. Having scored 8 times and assisted 3 so far, this season, he’s arguably the first name on the team sheet. Possessing the ability to drop off the front line, hold the ball up and use his surprisingly un-championship like finesse and flair to send defenders for hotdogs, Town will sorely miss him. However, Town’s top goal scorer Martyn Waghorn has been flying, scoring 9 goals and assisting 2. For a big lad, he’s mobile and direct. As well as ‘Waggers’, we have Celina. The Manchester City youngster is agile, nimble and exceptionally talented on the ball. The villains should not take him lightly or may just hear the away Town faithful singing his name to the tune of ‘Tequila’ after he finds the net.
If you were Mick McCarthy and had to sign one Aston Villa player for the Tractor Boys, who would it be?
I know this is questionable, because statistically, he isn’t one of your best this season. However, Robert Snodgrass is a lethal possession of the Villains. Deadly in front of goal and exceptionally ability from a dead-ball situation, he could well be a player to expose Town’s questionable defending.
Where do you see Villa finishing this season and why?
I strongly see Villa as one of our closest play off rivals. I do think they will secure a play off position and still do not associate Villa as a club, or the abundance of on field talent they have, as a championship side. Hopefully, we will see you in the play offs at the fortress that is, Portman Road.
Score prediction for Saturday?
It’s the age old saying; my head says one thing yet my heart says another. I’d like to think Town could go up there and prove a point and make a statement in their game in hand. So my heart says a typical, resolute and gritty Mick McCarthy 1-0 snatch and grab. However, I do feel the strength in the Villa side is exceptional, and so could see us slipping up. So, to be completely un-interesting (and be parallel to the sort of football you’d associate with a Mick McCarthy side) I think it will be a 1-1 draw, point gained for the blues and 2 lost for the Villains. UP THE TOWN!