Michael Duff will take his side into the third international break of the season on Saturday with what is arguably our hardest away trip of the season to date when we head to Portman Road.
Ipswich Town have been the surprise team of the season to date having continued their promotion winning form of last season and currently hold a top two spot as they look to secure a place back in the Premier League.
36 points from 45 available so far tells its own story as the Tractor Boys sit within three points of leaders Leicester and a huge eight points ahead of Leeds United in third. It’s been a fantastic start for the side that won promotion from League One last season and, should they secure a home win on Saturday, it will be a seventh win in eight at Portman Road – only Leeds have left there with any points so far this season thanks to a 4-3 win.
It’s just three weeks since we faced leaders Leicester at home and came out of that game with a strong performance but ultimately a defeat and now it is the other leading side that will challenge Duff and his team this weekend with the incentive of a win being a likely move into the top half of the table.
It will be a tough test for Duff and his side but the Swans boss believes that we are able to compete as he explained at his meeting with the press yesterday “It’s the same team as I faced last season. I think Kieran has had a long time there in terms of football now. Last year they were fantastic and went on a really good run from about November. They recruited well. They’ve got a clear identity.
“We have four clean sheets in our last eight games. We’re looking forward to the test and we are looking like a team that can compete.”
Charlie Patino will miss the clash in Suffolk thanks to his red card last weekend which is likely to lead to a start for Jay Fulton and with both Josh Key and Mykola Kuharevich still missing through injury there are a few team decisions that Duff has to make ahead of the game.
“We are a bit short of numbers with Charlie suspended, and a couple have knocks so we will need to see where they are at,” said the Swans boss.
“It’s all hands to the pump, and everyone who has been called upon has put their hands up and performed and we want to take that forward into this weekend.
“No-one is coming back who missed out last week so we will need to stay as resolute as we have been.”
The word “togetherness” has become somewhat of a buzz word at Swansea this year with Chairman, manager and several players talking about it and Fulton was one who added to it yesterday when he said “The togetherness of the team is good. A few of us have been here for a good while and the new boys have settled in well.”
But it wasn’t just the Swans he was leaving that superlative with as the midfielder referenced it when asked about Saturday’s opponents “Ipswich have had a great start,” Fulton added.
“They have a good front line, a lot of their players play possession-based football and they’ve got good togetherness.
“It’ll be a tough game and the atmosphere will be good, but we’ll take positives from last weekend and we’ll try to put our stamp on the match.”
The game at Portman Road kicks off at 3pm.