Danny eager to play lone striker's role

DANNY Haynes has today insisted: “I am man enough to take on the Preston North End defence.”The 19-year-old is set to be the lone striker when Ipswich Town play Coca-Cola Championship promotion hop-efuls Preston at Deepdale tonight (kick-off 7.

By Elvin King

DANNY Haynes has today insisted: “I am man enough to take on the Preston North End defence.”

The 19-year-old is set to be the lone striker when Ipswich Town play Coca-Cola Championship promotion hop-efuls Preston at Deepdale tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).

He confirmed he is up to the task - and raring to go.

“I thought I did well up front against Watford in the FA Cup and know I can do just as well - if not better - tonight,” said Haynes from the north west hotel where Town stayed overnight after training at Bolton Wanderers yesterday afternoon.

“Playing under Jim Magilton and getting selected for the England Under-19 side has made me a much more mature player - and person.

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“I have come on leaps and bounds this season and cannot wait for games to come around.

“We know it will be difficult tonight, but we need to bounce back after the Southend setback and we feel we can.”

Haynes meets up with the England squad on Saturday night after the Town match at Luton and he is expected to be in the starting line-up for the friendly against Turkey at Doncaster Rovers next Wed-nesday.

“Gaining international honours has been a huge boost to me,” added Haynes. “To represent your country is a big thrill and it has given me a lift.

“So has having Jim Magilton as manager. His door is always open for a chat and I have learned so much this season.

“I came to Ipswich as a wide player and have had to learn how to hold the ball up and how to become a front man. I feel I have done this now.”

Haynes has come a long way since being discarded by Charlton as a 16-year-old and he is grateful for the faith his father Lloyd has always shown in him.

“My father was sure I could make it and kept me going after the disappointment of being released by Charlton,” said Haynes, who scored a superb goal at Hull last Tuesday.

“He watches my games as often as he can and I dedicate my success to him.”

Magilton has the option of playing Jonathan Walters up front if the ex-Chester player gets over a hamstring problem.

“We have to be wary with Jonathan as we don't want him to suffer a setback,” said Magilton.

“Danny deserves his chance as he has shown a great willingness to improve. He is not a particularly good trainer, but he lives for match days and is an impact player.

“I would not hesitate in playing him up front on his own.”

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