Sheffield United: ‘We reserve the right to experiment over the next two games’
Ipswich Town have reserved the right to experiment with tactics and selections over the course of the next two games, despite knowing their results could decide the outcome of the race for automatic promotion from the Championship.
Stuart Taylor, Paul Lambert's assistant at Portman Road, made the admission as Sheffield United's latest opponents prepare for life in the third tier of English football after being relegated earlier this month.
Despite propping-up the rest of the division, Town's performances between now and the end of the campaign are set to influence events at the top end of the table with third-placed Leeds set to visit Suffolk next weekend. Marcelo Bielsa's squad, who trail United by three points, know a victory for Wilder's men would effectively condemn them to the play-offs given their vastly inferior goal difference.
"We are playing for pride and we're not looking at Sheffield United's promotion party of Leeds' promotion party," Taylor, the former St Mirren and Partick Thistle midfielder, said. "We are taking the game for what it is."
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"Without a doubt it's about us," he added. "We've done that (experiment) already. We're looking at the bigger picture and what's right for us. The players need to be tested and set on that challenge (of bouncing straight back)."
Town could use Saturday’s visit to Bramall Lane to hand Corrie Ndaba his debut after the teenage defender was named on the bench for their last three fixtures.
Referring to the fact United only climbed out of League One two years ago, Taylor said: "This is about putting the foundations in place and building for that. Sheffield United, not so long ago, had pretty much hit rock bottom and are now pushing for promotion. They improved, put things in place, so all credit to them for that."