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Ipswich Town v Boro; Portman Road, tomorrow at 3pm.

Mowbray's message "WE felt we had an opportunity to get through against Sunderland and we didn't quite manage to do it.

"Now we have to try to reproduce the drive and intensity and the energy levels at Ipswich against a team who've just beaten West Ham 5-1. "We need to get back to winning ways. I would hope Barry Robson would be fit and hopefully there will be no reaction from Marvin Emnes and Faris Haroun and we will have them to call on.

"But the young players who played on Wednesday night have done themselves no harm and shown they have assets. When injuries come along, as they have, they've got to grab their chance."

Boro form guide A JITTERY January has left Boro just clinging on to the final play-off place but with a pack gathering behind.

December pace-setters Boro have slipped back to sixth after a meagre return of just three points from the past six games.

Boro have not won in the league since Boxing Day but the alarming New Year slump of three straight defeats - Blackpool, Burnley and Coventry - has been arrested with three gritty draws at Sunderland and Leicester then at home to Crystal Palace.

And the side will be boosted by the spirited show of a patched up side in the midweek FA Cup replay exit to Sunderland.

Beat the bookies GAZETTE tipster William Chrimes has again teamed up with online betting exchange Betdaq.

He said: "Three of the past four games between Boro and Ipswich have finished level so I'm happy to tip up another draw at 12/5 on Betdaq.

"Paul Jewell's side have scored eight in two league games, while Boro's last away league game ended 2-2 so my advice for spread bettors would be to buy (bet higher) total goals at 2.6 with Sporting Index. Lukas Jutkiewicz looks a good value to score at around 21/10 with Boylesport.

Opposition view IBRAHIMA Sonko believes Ipswich can put a woeful start behind them and beat Boro to continue their revival.

"We need to carry on chasing the teams in front of us and try to move forward," he said.

"Now we have got a couple of results on the bounce, it has made us smile a bit and made us a little more relaxed."

"We beat West Ham and a lot of people were surprised but we had been playing well for about five or six games and it was due.

"Boro are well placed in the table and are a good team so it will be tough but we know we can beat anyone on our day."

Ipswich form guide THE revived Tractor Boys have clawed away from the relegation battle with two vital wins on the bounce.

They ended a nightmare run with a 5-1 Portman Road thumping of table-topping West Ham then Michael Chopra got a stoppage time winner to seal a 3-2 win at rock bottom Coventry last time out to lift them 10 points clear of the drop spots.

Before that they had taken just one point in five league games and won only one in 10 - a woeful slide that included a damaging 3-1 home defeat to second bottom Nottingham Forest.

Their man the know "IPSWICH have a spring in their step after the last couple of games. A month ago they looked vulnerable in the relegation zone but they look a different prospect now . "Jewell bought some expensive and experienced players in the summer like Jimmy Bullard and Lee Bowyer and they started well but then faded badly and the change came when he dropped them and brought the young lads in.

"We started played 4231 as well and performances picked up quickly and although we were due a win the West Ham result surprised everyone.

"I'm not totally convinced we have completely turned the corner but there isn't an air of crisis anymore."

STUART WATSON East Anglian Daily Times Can't play, won't play BORO will wait until the last minute to assess midfielder Barry Robson after two games out with a broken hand.

Faris Haroun (thigh) is a doubt while Marvin Emnes will have a late check to see if there is any reaction to his own thigh strain after a cameo against Sunderland.

Scott McDonald is a long term casualty with a knee ligament injury and Nicky Bailey is still a couple of weeks away.

Ipswich are without midfielder Lee Bowyer with a hamstring but defender Damien Delaney may return from a similar problem.

Form guide IPSWICH'S LAST FIVE Feb 4 (a) Coventry W 2-3 Jan 31 (h) West Ham W 5-1 Jan 21 (a) Leeds L 1-3 Jan 14 (h) Blackpool D 2-2 Jan 11 (a) Birmingham L 1-2 Last five homes: W 5-1, D 2-2, L 1-3, W 1-0, L 1-2 BORO'S LAST FIVE Feb 8 (h) Sunderland L 1-2 Feb 4 (h) Crystal Palace D 0-0 Feb 1 (a) Leicester D 2-2 Jan 29 (a) Sunderland D 1-1 Jan 21 (a) Coventry L 1-3 Last five away: D 2-2, L 1-3, L 0-3, W 3-2, W 1-0 Last time there Ipswich 3 Boro 3 April 12, 2011 A PATCHED-UP Boro side let slip a two-goal lead in the second half of a pulsating encounter.

Grant Leadbitter put Ipswich ahead early on then just before the break Andy Halliday levelled with a quality strike before setting up Scott McDonald for a quickfire second.

Andrew Taylor made it three on 51 minutes but in a storming finish Ipswich clawed back with a Connor Wickham header and a Leadbitter penalty.

Who's the ref? DEAN Whitestone of Northampton is due to take charge of Boro for the first time this term at Portman Road.

Last season he reffed Boro twice. He officiated in a 1-0 home win over Sheffield United early on then showed four yellow cards and gave both sides a penalty in a 1-0 defeat at Coventry in December 2010.

This season he has shown 73 yellow and four red cards in his 25 games but has not sent anyone off in his five matches in the Championship so far.

Dangerman MICHAEL Chopra has ended a barren run with an explosive spell since being switched to a lone striking role in place of out of favour Jason Scotland.

The former Newcastle and Sunderland man got the opener, teed up two more and won a penalty in the shock 5-1 win over West Ham then last week at Coventry he pounced on a penalty rebound to square it at 2-2 then plundered a winner deep in stoppage time.

That brace made Chopra, a pounds 1m summer signing from Cardiff, Ipswich's top scorer with 10 from 26 games.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 10, 2012
Words:1117
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