Big brother watches Town climb

Ipswich star Fabian Wilnis has one word to describe his team's amazing climb into the First Division's top six – "unbelievable".The Dutch full-back is well qualified to judge, since he is the only outfield player to have completed every minute of every game this season.

By Mel Henderson

Ipswich star Fabian Wilnis has one word to describe his team's amazing climb into the First Division's top six – "unbelievable".

The Dutch full-back is well qualified to judge, since he is the only outfield player to have completed every minute of every game this season.

Wilnis, 33, laughed: "What's going on? Last month we were bottom of the league and look where we are now. It really is unbelievable.


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"It's fantastic and do you know the best thing about it? We're above Norwich. I think the fans will be quite happy with that!"

Wilnis was relieved that Town, having missed a host of chances to gain a more emphatic win, held on to earn a 1-0 victory over Stoke at the weekend.

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But he insisted: "Although we had a bit of luck at the end, we were really quite comfortable through the whole of the game.

"When they hit both posts it was amazing. The ball would probably have ended up in the net last month, but now we're on a roll we're getting luck on our side."

Wilnis was particularly delighted that his brother, Brayen, was able to see Ipswich win on his first-ever visit to Portman Road.

He said: "Brayen – it's like Brian in English – is the manager of a team in Holland. They are in the Dutch equivalent of the Conference and they normally play every Saturday.

"He works in the week, so he has never been able to come over. But he called to say his team were not playing this week and told me 'I really have to get to Ipswich'.

"Brayen is five years older than me. I have three big brothers and I am the baby of the family. He was very impressed with the set-up here and really enjoyed himself."

Wilnis, who shares his 100 per cent appearance record with goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, is anxious that Town carry on winning at Crystal Palace tomorrow night (kick-off 8pm).

The Londoners are having a miserable time. After topping the table with maximum points from their first three games, they have since managed only one win in their last ten.

But Wilnis warned: "There are no easy games in the First Division. You have to work hard and play well to win games.

"We are on a roll at the moment and full of confidence, and we want to keep it going. I feel really fit and I'm enjoying my football a lot."

Town will definitely be without hamstring victim Alan Mahon, who promised an Irish jig celebration if he scored against Stoke but instead limped off in the 12th minute.

Skipper Jim Magilton, unable to continue at half-time after a recurrence of the calf problem he picked up against Burnley four days earlier, is also a doubt.

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