DONCASTER ROVERS: Bidding for a double over Tractor Boys

Rovers days: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is likely to play at the Keepmoat tomorrow. Picture: Steve taylor
Rovers days: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is likely to play at the Keepmoat tomorrow. Picture: Steve taylor

NOT even another convincing win tomorrow against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium, here they won 6-0 on their last visit 14 months ago, will make up for another disappointing season for Ipswich Town.

Town will go into the game boasting just one victory - a 1-0 home over Barnsley last month - in their last eight games.

They’ve dropped to 15th in the table and are unlikely to improve on that position even if they avenge a 3-2 defeat by Rovers at Portman Road back in November.

But they could drop to as low as 17th were Rovers to complete the double over them and other results go against them.

Were that to happen it could add to the pressure on manager Paul Jewell, who took over at the start of 2011.

Jewell’s job looked to be on the line after the Tractor Boys had lost seven on the trot prior to a high-scoring 5-3 win at Oakwell at the start of December.

Prior to that run Jewell had looked to be getting the Suffolk club back on track with a run of four wins and two draws.

A 5-1 win over West Ham United at the end of January - their only win during that month - sparked off a 10-game run of games during which they won seven and drew two, sparking off hopes of a tilt a the play-offs.

But their Premier League dreams quickly faded just as quickly and they have had little to play for in recent weeks.

Despite that fact more than 1,000 fans will be travelling up to South Yorkshire tomorrow and they are likely to receive a warm welcome from home fans.

Everyone who travelled down to Portman Road on Bonfire Night was impressed with the kindness shown to Rovers’ striker Billy Sharp, the subject of an unsuccessful £2.3m bid in the summer, by Ipswich fans.

Sharp, who was still trying to come to terms with the death of his young son a week or so earlier, received a tremendous ovation from home supporters after scoring a 24th minute goal - something which clearly left a big impression on the club’s record signing.

Neither Sharp, now playing for Southampton, or the injured El Hadji Diouf, who scored the other two Doncaster goals, will feature in the return but the Tractor Boys are expected to field their big guns such as Michael Chopra and Jason Scotland.

The visitors are also expected to include former Rovers’ favourite Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

The attacking midfielder, who spent time on loan at Rovers during his time at Arsenal, joined the Blues on a three-year deal in the summer after a spell on loan at Cardiff, whom he helped reach the Championship Play-offs, last season.

Rovers fans will not need reminding of the threat he poses from anywhere up to 30 yards out and no doubt he will be looking to add to his seven-goal tally if he gets the chance.

One to watch

Striker Michael Chopra joined the Tractor Boys on a three-year deal last summer from Cardiff, where he repaid their club-record £3m investment in July 2009 by scoring 65 goals in 162 appearances. It was Chopra’s second spell at the club, who had paid his hometown club Newcastle United £500,000 for his services in 2006. After scoring 22 goals in just 44 games for the Bluebirds he moved to Sunderland in a £5m deal Chopra has settled in well at Portman Road and is the team’s top scorer this season with 14 goals.