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Ipswich Town international round-up: Tommy Smith committed to playing for New Zealand

Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith

Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith

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Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith has told a newspaper in New Zealand that he is 100% committed to playing for the national team, ahead of the All Whites’ World Cup qualifiers against Fiji.

Anthony Hudson’s team play away on Saturday at Churchill Park, before hosting the return game next Tuesday at Westpac Stadium, and Smith, who has just recovered from a long-term back injury at Portman Road, is in line to start.

Smith has played just two of New Zealand’s last 17 internationals, choosing to concentrate on his club commitments, but the 26-year-old is back in the frame, following a chat with Hudson who, originally, had said the defender would not be considered again after he pulled out of the Oceania Nations Cup campaign.

“(I’m) delighted to be back and 100 per cent committed going forwards, no question,” said Smith, speaking to the New Zealand Herald.

“I can understand (fans) questioning me, to be honest, but there are factors there that I don’t want to get into.

“It’s down to me to prove them wrong, show my commitment and hopefully win them over.”

Smith has won 29 New Zealand caps and is keen to add to his tally under Hudson.

“I needed to have that chat and lay my cards on the table,” said Smith. “Anthony wanted that 100 per cent commitment from me and I am happy to do that.

“That was the crux of the matter really. I love pulling on the shirt, but it was factors out of my hands previously that led to the decisions that I did make.”

Elsewhere, Ipswich Town defender Christophe Berra played the full game as Scotland drew 1-1 with Canada in an international friendly at Easter Road last night.

Falkirk’s Fraser Aird gave the visitors, ranked 117th in the Fifa World rankings, an 11th minute lead in Edinburgh, only for Norwich City’s Steven Naismith to equalise for the Tartan Army 10 minutes before the break.

Berra was up against the likes of former Norwich striker Simeon Jackson, one of his tormentors at Cardiff City on Saturday, Junior Hoilett, and Burnley’s Scott Arfield.

Berra’s team-mate Kevin Bru, meanwhile, plays in a double-header for Mauritius against Comoros, tomorrow and Monday, with qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations at stake.

There has also been Ipswich Town representation at youth level too this week, Andre Dozzell playing in England Under-18s 2-0 victory over their Saudi Arabia counterparts. Dozzell’s Blues team-mate, Trystan Nydam, was an unused sub.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy spoke openly about his uncertain future at this morning’s press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Championship game at Preston. STUART WATSON posed the questions.

Bacon’s Bites: In this week’s column, Mike Bacon takes a look at how the FA Cup is alive and kicking, plus, have you taken in a Spanish football game?

We have assembled a group of Town fans to predict the outcome of Ipswich games and have their say on what’s going on at Portman Road.

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Mick McCarthy is hopeful Joe Garner will be fit to face former club Preston this weekend while a trio of youngsters could get a chance to impress at Deepdale.

Ipswich Town take on Preston North End, at Deepdale, on Saturday in what will be their third Championship game in seven days.

Ipswich Town travel to Preston North End for a third Championship game in seven days on Saturday. STUART WATSON previews the action.

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