Phil Parkinson has been previewing tonight’s clash against Ipswich Town and knows a victory is essential if we are to mount a promotion challenge. “We were delighted with the win at the weekend and we want to improve on it tonight,” said Parkinson. “Our points return has been good and although we have played a game less than the teams above us, you can see that the league table is starting to take shape. I said after the Rochdale match that we have to make sure we give ourselves the platform to win games. On Saturday, we faced difficult conditions and apart from a contentious penalty, we kept our defensive concentration and our structure was great. It allowed us to go on and get the winning goals and now we’re looking forward to the game against Ipswich. Typically, we would have over 30,000 fans cheering us on under the lights and unfortunately it’s not going to be like that, but the lads are relishing it. They understand that going into this new lockdown football is going to be very important, so we want to try and keep everyone’s morale as high as possible.”

Parkinson was pleased with the clean sheet against Gillingham after poor defensive displays against both Pompey and Rochdale. “I’ve spoken about it to the lads. Let’s not take the mentality of protecting our goal for granted. I just felt the five goals in two games, we’d gone away from that and there was almost a bit of complacency that that’ll just take care of itself. The defending has got to be there so when we get the moments at the other end of the field, they can win us the game. It’s 11 points from five away games now and that’s a very good return – we’re looking forward tonight to try to get another win at home. With Jordan Willis, we’ve just got to nurse him through the next couple of weeks, and then we’ll get him an injection in his patella and hopefully we’ll get him back stronger than ever. I thought Conor (McLaughlin) did really well at the weekend. With Dion (Sanderson), I just thought it would be a big ask for him to go again after making his debut on Tuesday (against Rochdale). He hasn’t played a lot of football.”

Meanwhile, Bailey Wright knows Ipswich will pose a tough test for us tonight. “Ipswich are an experienced side with some good players. We’re expecting a tough game for sure, but like every game, we have to just focus on ourselves and look at how we can implement our style. Every game is equally as important, there’s a lot of good teams to play in this league and Ipswich are certainly one of them. There’s some good vibes in the squad after the win on Saturday and everyone has recovered well.”