Burley throws down the gauntlet
IPSWICH Town manager George Burley today threw down the gauntlet to his players and said: "We have to earn the right to stay in the Premiership."The Blues chief, whose UEFA Cup campaigners have lost two and won one of their first three games, tomorrow takes his team to rock bottom Leicester City where the job of manager Peter Taylor is hanging by a thread.
IPSWICH Town manager George Burley today threw down the gauntlet to his players and said: "We have to earn the right to stay in the Premiership."
The Blues chief, whose UEFA Cup campaigners have lost two and won one of their first three games, tomorrow takes his team to rock bottom Leicester City where the job of manager Peter Taylor is hanging by a thread.
This follows a miserable end to last season and an opening day 5-0 home defeat to Bolton followed by a 4-0 reverse at Arsenal.
"It's early days yet and teams are still getting themselves sorted, but we are under no illusions. This is a tough, tough league to survive in and we have to be equipped for it. We must work together as a team and as a unit and pull together."
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Burley, whose side lost their last game 1-0 at home to Charlton, went on: "We have a stronger squad now in a very competitive league, but no club can afford to stand still. We have made changes to our squad and still have plenty to work on to get our team play going .
"We've got talented players, but we've got to get the best out of them. This week with players away on international duty we are not able to work with a full quota of players, but that's the same for almost every club in the Premiership.
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"Leicester beat us at their place last season and we know we are in for a very tough game. Their side contains a lot of international players with a good reputation in the game."
One of those players is James Scowcroft, the former England Under- 21 attacker who left Town for Leicester last month in a £3.5 million deal. He missed the Bolton debacle, but played at Arsenal, and will be making his home debut tomorrow.
The under-fire Taylor said: "There has been talk of the players owing me a game, but it's not like that at all. They owe it to themselves because they've let the supporters down.
"They did not do their jobs properly against Bolton and it is important that they get it right against Ipswich. I wasn't too disappointed with the performance against Arsenal, but against Bolton I just cannot accept how they performed."
Titus Bramble, the Town central defender, sustained an ankle injury in the Charlton game and had to pull out of the England Under-21 squad.
Yesterday he trained for the first time since then and is set to take his place tomorrow in the east midlands.
Striker Alun Armstrong and defenders John McGreal and Mark Venus all had midweek reserve games after injuries and are in the squad.
Ruled out are Tommy Miller (foot), Fabian Wilnis (hamstring), Sixto Peralta (thigh) and Gary Croft (back).
LEICESTER: Walker or Flowers; Sinclair, Elliott, Davidson, Delaney, Oakes, Impey, Savage, Izzett, Gunnlaugsson, Akinbiyi, Sturridge, Benjamin, Scowcroft, Heath, J Stewart, Jones, Lewis.
IPSWICH: Sereni; Makin, Clapham, Hreidarsson, Bramble, Brown, George, Wright, Holland, Reuser, Magilton, Stewart, Naylor, Counago, Armstrong, McGreal, Venus, Bent, Branagan.