After a day when one legendary manager was honoured, two current incumbents face uncertain futures. Sir Bobby Robson, who managed both clubs had a stand named after him and both sets of supporters showed their appreciation for the legend. After a rocky start at Portman Road in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and witnessing first hand the dramas of St James' Park, Robson would have understood what Roy Keane and Chris Hughton are going through.
Keane has yet to see his Ipswich side find a league win this season and knows where failure will lead, especially with no signs of things getting better. Chris Hughton has taken Newcastle to the top of the Championship with a team who showed a unity and quality that bode well, yet paradoxically he remains a caretaker who could lose his job any week now should the club's owner, Mike Ashley, find a buyer.
Hughton remains pragmatic, enjoying the position his team finds itself and not worrying about his own. "That is something that doesn't really concern me. My biggest thrill is winning games," Hughton said. "This is a very good period for Newcastle right now. It is a wonderful feeling to be where we are, but we are in a different league and the expectation is Newcastle should be at this end of this table."
Keane was verbally abused by supporters as he left the pitch after a Kevin Nolan hat-trick and an outstanding free-kick from Ryan Taylor highlighted just how insipid his Ipswich side is, even after spending around £7m in bringing in 11 of his own players. "We came up short and those goals could have been prevented. It is all part of the challenge, Keane said. "I'm not daft. The supporters played a big part in keeping us going but a lot voiced their opinions at the end and rightly so. If you pay your money then you are entitled to do that."
The failure to find a win after nine games means this is the worst start in the club's 73-year history and Keane acknowledges he may not be able to repeat what he did at Sunderland by taking them up so quickly. Keane said: "It will be more steady. Every club and challenge is different. You can't compare they way we are at the moment with Sunderland. It is chalk and cheese. When I got us up at Sunderland, maybe I got a bit of luck. Maybe I was just very, very lucky and I have been found out."
Nolan got his first hat-trick as a professional under way when he met a Ryan Taylor free-kick with a near-post header. The £4m signing from Bolton left Pim Balkestein embarrassed for his second goal and completed the haul with a close-range header. Taylor curled a 30-yard free-kick past a grasping Richard Wright and the Town keeper kept the score down with good saves from Nile Ranger and Marlon Harewood.
Ipswich Town (4-5-1): Wright; Rosenior, Bruce (Smith, 39), Balkestein, Delaney (Peters, 60); Edwards, Leadbitter, Trotter, Colback, Walters; Priskin (Counago, 62). Substitutes not used: Lee-Barrett, Martin, Stead, Quinn.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Harper; S Taylor, Khizanishvili, Coloccini, Enrique; Smith, Butt, Nolan, R Taylor; Carroll, Ranger. Substitutes not used: Harewood, Lovenkrands, Baheng, Tozer, Donaldson, Vuckic, Krul.
Referee: M Jones (Cheshire).
Booked: Ipswich Town Bruce; Newcastle United Nolan.
Man of the match: Nolan.
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