Date:Wednesday February 18 2009
Vital QPR takes a look at Ipswich Town ahead of this weekend`s clash live on Sky.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Nickname: The Tractor Boys
Ground: Portman Road - 30,311
Manager: Jim Magilton
UEFA Cup Winners - 1980-81
First Division Champions - 1961-62
First Division Runners-Up - 1980-81, 1981-82
FA Cup Winners - 1977-78
Second Division (Old) Champions - 1960-61, 1967-68, 1991-92
First Division Playoff Winners - 1999-00
Third Division (South) Champions - 1953-54, 1956-57
Record Attendance: 38,010 v Leeds United (FA Cup 6th Round, 1975)
Record victory: 11-0 v Cromer (FA Cup, 1936)
Record defeat 1-10 v Fulham (First Division, 1963)
Record Buy: Matteo Sereni - £4,800,000 from Sampdoria
Record Sale: Kieron Dyer - £6,000,000 to Newcastle United
Record Appearances: Mick Mills - 741
Record Goals: Ray Crawford - 218
When Town were promoted to the Premier League after the turn of the Millennium many had them down as relegation fodder after their triumph over Bolton Wanderers then Barnsley in the playoffs.
They stunned the Premier League under the guidance of George Burley by not only remaining in the top six for the majority of the season, but also being inches away from a prize Champions League place. They were narrowly pipped on the final day as they failed to overcome Derby County - who themselves narrowly escaped the drop.
Their fifth placed finished was their highest since 1982, as they secured a UEFA Cup spot and some much needed income. However they squandered £10.9 million of their new-found wealth on players such as Matteo Sereni (£4.8m), Finidi George (£3.1m) and Marcus Bent (£3m) - who by and large to be massive underachievers.
After the elation of an excellent season with Manager Burley receiving Manager of the Season, the Tractor Boys were relegated in 18th place with 36 points. Two particular low points were Liverpool twice thumping George Burley`s men - 6-0 at Portman Road and 5-0 at Anfield.
Ipswich got off the Division One campaign to a poor start and George Burley paid the price. A period of uncertainty reigned at Portman Road with the club placed into temporary administration and now West Bromwich Albion boss Tony Mowbray taking charge of proceedings. After a while it was Joe Royle who took over and steered Ipswich to 7th - four points off a playoff place.
Royle was becoming the king of turning seasons around as he started the following season rock-bottom after a few games. The pressure mounted on the board who held firm insisting Royle was the right man. They were proven right as signings such as Georges Santos and Shefki Kuqi saw them tear through the league and into a playoff place. They were knocked out at the semi-final stage by West Ham United after throwing away a one-goal advantage from the first leg.
The following season Royle`s men nearly did one better as they looked in prime place not only to secure promotion - but the title to boot. They were six points clear in March but somehow Town conspired to fluff their lines and drop into the playoffs. West Ham United the benefactors once again at the semi-final stage.
The high-profile departures included Shefki Kuqi and Darren Bent as town paid the price for a lack of Premier League football. QPR fan Sam Parkin came in alongside former Reading man Nicky Forster in a new look strike force. However an injury ravaged Town were inconsistent and finished a disappointing 15th in the table, and the club parted ways with boss Joe Royle.
Ipswich called upon a former captain to take the reigns at Portman Road - it was his assist that set-up Danny Haynes for a last gasp equaliser against QPR. Jim Magilton had been forced to retire early after 7 and half years with the club after a succession of injuries blighted him.
British entrepreneur Marcus Evans took over at Town in December 2007 and flexed his transfer muscle with immediate effect snapping up David Norris for £2m from Plymouth Argyle while also bringing back fans favourite Pablo Couñago. Town finished just a point outside the playoffs in 8th place promising much for this season`s campaign.
Thus far they sit in 11th place but already the local media have been clambering for Jim Magilton to bite the bullet and depart. But Chairman Marcus Evans has come out in defence of his boss as they sit seven points outside a playoff place.
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