Three defeats in February severely dented Ipswich Town's play-off hopes, but the Tractor Boys will be hoping one last push can get them in the top six. At the other end of the table their opponents on Tuesday (April 5) will be hoping for a similar spurt but their ambitions are less lofty but more serious.
Charlton stayed in touch with the rest of the Championship – just – with a skin-of-their-teeth win on Saturday against Birmingham, one place below Ipswich – and they’ll be hoping to do against the East Anglians what they have failed to do a lot this season – capitalise on a win.
Alou Diarra, back in the side after a recovering from a fracture to his metatarsal, said : “[Birmingham] was a tough game and as a team we showed character and good spirit to come back.
“It was difficult but we put in a great performance and we are happy that we were able to win the game.
“It is not enough for us, though, we have to keep going and prepare for our game on Tuesday. We will have to be solid and continue to be focussed.”
Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy knows that Charlton’s renewed spirit poses a threat at Portman Road. He said: “Despite everything going on, the team and manager are still a really tough unit. I’m kind of pleased they won. They’re not coming back where they need a reaction.”
Defender Chris Solly could return after being out since February with Patrick Bauer also close to fitness. He’s been out since December.
Meanwhile, Charlton’s bright young talent has caught the attention of the Premier League. Arsenal have their eye on prospect Ademola Lookman while Leicester are among a number frontrunners keeping their eye on Charlton’s U18 captain and academy boy George Lapsie.
He said: “I’ve watched our games since I was a young kid, so I’ve always dreamt and been motivated to work really hard to try and get into the first team.”
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