Cuper takes a look at Ipswich

INTER Milan coach Hector Cuper was at Portman Road as Town slid further into relegation trouble.Cuper, who brings the Italian giants to Portman Road on Thursday for the first leg of a UEFA Cup third round tie, was joined in the directors' box by sidekick Mario Gomez.

By Mel Henderson

INTER Milan coach Hector Cuper was at Portman Road as Town slid further into relegation trouble.

Cuper, who brings the Italian giants to Portman Road on Thursday for the first leg of a UEFA Cup third round tie, was joined in the directors' box by sidekick Mario Gomez.

The pair saw Town lose 2-1 to the newly-promoted Trotters and the respective teams' fortunes could hardly be in starker contrast in the build-up to the big match.


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While Town flounder second from bottom of the Premiership, their opponents are second in Serie A just one point behind surprise leaders Chievo.

Inter have lost just once in their opening 10 games, to neighbours AC Milan, and big-money star Christian Vieri made his comeback from injury in Saturday night's 0-0 away draw with champions Roma.

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Cuper dropped nine-goal top scorer Mohamed Kallon to make way for £34 million star Vieri, who struck the Roma crossbar with a first-half header as part of his impressive return to action.

With Ipswich hit by a succession of injuries and illness to their strikers, Spanish Under-21 star Pablo Counago could again be in the starting line-up on Thursday after making his first Premiership start yesterday.

He said: "This is another vital game for the players, club and fans but we must not be worried by the reputation of our opponents. It might be Inter Milan, but they are just another team.

"We should not be bothered if we do not manage to build up a lead in the first leg. Away from home teams attack us and this gives us more space, which suits us better."

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