Barron has a double reason

IPSWICH youngster Scott Barron has a double reason for wanting to face Hull at Portman Road tomorrow.The 20-year-old, fighting to shake off a persistent hamstring problem, is anxious to maintain his current uninterrupted run of 13 first team appearances.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH youngster Scott Barron has a double reason for wanting to face Hull at Portman Road tomorrow.

The 20-year-old, fighting to shake off a persistent hamstring problem, is anxious to maintain his current uninterrupted run of 13 first team appearances.

And he would love to make an impression on Tigers' boss Peter Taylor, who also doubles as manager of the England Under-21 side.

Barron, 20, said: “The main thing is to be fit enough to play - if selected that is - and to play well in a home win.

“I am ambitious, like any other player, and it would be good to catch the eye of Mr Taylor. I am still establishing myself at Ipswich, but I can't deny it would be a great thrill to play for my country some time in the future.”

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Barron recently signed a new contract to stay at Portman Road until at least 2008 and reflected on

how his career has recently been given the kiss of life.

In danger of becoming a forgotten man after so long on the sidelines through injury, he has instead provided boss Joe Royle with the answer to his problem left-back position.

“This time last year I only had one thing on my mind - getting fit,” said Barron, just one of several home-grown stars in the current Ipswich squad.

“I certainly wasn't thinking about first team football and contract extensions then. I was too busy having operations and trying to find out exactly what was wrong with me.

“It all started out as a groin injury and even a leading specialist up north didn't discover the problem when I went to see him. It was a horrible time back then.”

The light at the end of the tunnel only appeared once Barron's condition had been properly diagnosed and he underwent a double hernia operation.

Things have changed dramatically in recent months and his promotion to first team regular coincided with a Town form surge that saw their play-off chances soar.

Even now, with neither time nor a points tally of seven fewer than sixth-placed Preston on their side, Barron refuses to concede anything.

But his injury nightmare is still so fresh in the memory that Barron is in no danger of getting carried away with his new-found status.

He said: “I realise how fickle a business it can be. When I first came here I was told to expect highs and lows, but it is only when you experience them for yourself that you understand what people mean by that.

“God forbid, I could get injured again and be out for a long time, but I feel as if I have seen enough of the treatment room for a while.

“If we don't make the play-offs this time, it won't be because of our recent results but because we didn't do well enough during the early part of the season.

“It's about what you do over the season as a whole, but if we do miss out I can see us having a real go next season. We are getting stronger all the time.

“You only have to look at the players in the treatment room, who are well on their way to playing again, for proof of that.”

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