All change at Crewe
IPSWICH boss George Burley has hinted at reshuffling his side for their Worthington Cup trip to Crewe. But Town fans can forget a Manchester United-style shake-up in Tuesday's third round tie at Gresty Road.
By Mel Henderson
IPSWICH boss George Burley has hinted at reshuffling his side for next week's Worthington Cup trip to Crewe.
But Town fans can forget a Manchester United-style shake-up in Tuesday's one-off third round tie at Gresty Road.
While Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson uses the competition to rest players chasing glory on so many other fronts, Burley is not contemplating wholesale changes.
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He said: "We took the opportunity last season to look at one or two players who were not regulars and we will look at it again. But there is no danger of us not taking the Worthington Cup seriously.
"We take it very seriously and we will be going to Crewe to win. I think it is a good competition – it offers a route to Europe for the winners and that's a huge incentive in itself."
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Burley's planning for the trip north will not start in earnest until Monday, because so many of his players are away on international duty and the squad will not reassemble until then.
"I don't have a team in my mind," he admitted. "That won't happen until Monday or even Tuesday. It's not an ideal build-up to have so many players away, because there's so little time to prepare.
"I won't have everyone together again until Monday morning. We'll train then and travel north in the afternoon, then it's the game the next day. So it will all be a bit hectic.
"We got to the semi-finals last season and I want us to have another good run in the Worthington Cup. But Crewe are a good footballing side, who always get the ball down and try to play, so I expect a decent game."
Burley also reflected on his side's disappointing league position, fourth bottom on the same five-point tally as the three clubs below them.
He said: "It hasn't been the best of starts to the season as far as points are concerned, but we are still only three worse off than at the same stage last year.
"And if you look back at the games we have played, and the extra points we should have collected, I feel we should actually be in a stronger position than we were a year ago."
Burley stressed his players were in good spirits and confirmed that Martijn Reuser's thigh injury had improved to the extent that the Dutch ace had re-commenced light training.
But young defender Titus Bramble remains a doubt for the game at Crewe as he bids to shake off an Achilles tendon problem that forced him to withdraw from the England Under-21 squad for tonight's clash with Greece at Ewood Park.
The Town boss added: "Titus had an injection at the weekend and while the injury is settling down it is still far too early to say whether or not Titus will be fit for Tuesday's game."