De Vos confident

JASON De Vos is confident he will be fit to face Sheffield United on Saturday after being given a tougher than anticipated work-out on his injury comeback, as ten-man Ipswich crumpled to classy Arsenal.

JASON De Vos is confident he will be fit to face Sheffield United on Saturday after being given a tougher than anticipated work-out on his injury comeback, as ten-man Ipswich crumpled to classy Arsenal.

The Canadian was happy getting through a tough 90 minutes with no reaction to his sore ribs after central defensive partner Aidan Collins was sent off after just 12 minutes.

De Vos said: “They were a little bit sore in the second half but part of that was down to the amount of talking I had to do and that put extra strain on them. I got bumped a couple of times going up for headers and making tackles but they were fine and didn't really bother me.

“I'm hopeful I will be available for Saturday now. We have some training sessions this week but I feel okay fitness wise and to get through 90 minutes when we were down to ten men for so long, was good for the legs too.”

De Vos was impressed with new boy Jay McEveley who started at left back but shuffled across when Collins went.

He said: “Jay did really well. He is a big, strong lad, is comfortable on the ball and has a great left peg. The fitter he gets and the more games he gets under his belt the more the fans are going to see the best of him.

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“It is nice to have that versatility and with Fabian also capable of playing all along the back four it is great for the gaffer.

“After only having four fit defenders he now has a number of players who can fill more than one position which must be a great relief for him.”

Dean Bowditch scored twice again, making it five in three reserve matches, but Arturo Lupoli stole the show for Arsenal with a hat-trick and Nicklas Bendtner snatched the fourth.

Arsenal's pace and movement caused Town problems and when Bendtner burst through the middle on a counter, Town were in trouble, even though Shane Supple was ready.

Collins made a game attempt to salvage the situation but instead conceded a penalty and got himself sent off for the last-ditch tackle on Bendtner.

Lupoli sent Supple the wrong way with the spot kick and spent the rest of the game running Town ragged.

McEveley showed he could play centre-back as he went alongside De Vos, while Scott Barron dropped to left-back.

The loanee from Blackburn showed plenty of bite but picked up a booking for a full-blooded challenge on the hat-trick hero.

Lupoli took his second with a well-taken finish in a move started by England defender Sol Campbell, who had intercepted inside his own half and set Ryan Smith scampering past de Vos before feeding the youngster, who also enjoyed some success against Town last season.

Campbell eased through the game and looks likely to be in the Gunners' senior squad travelling to Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The Italian completed his hat-trick in the 54th minute with another sharp finish, which Supple looked to have saved but it took a deflection off the luckless Scott Barron.

The Blues pulled and probed, with McDonald looking particularly menacing, but they never really hurt the Gunners until the 80th minute.

Substitute Chris Casement fed an excellent ball forward for Peters, who sprinted down the right wing before delivering a low cross and Bowditch got to the right place in front of his marker and turned the ball in from close range.

The Blues set up an exciting finish as Bowditch hammered in his second deep into time added on after a concerted effort from his midfield.

But the Gunners replied instantly through Bendtner, who finished off a scruffy goal. Bowditch earlier had a low shot tipped away after being fed by the slippery McDonald, who himself hit a low shot across goal after squirming into space.

Ipswich Town: Supple, Moore (Casement, 59) McEveley, de Vos, Collins, Juan (Trotter, 57) Peters, Horlock, Bowditch, McDonald, Barron (Craig, 78) Subs not used: Haynes, Knights.

Arsenal: Jordan, Kelly (Muamba, 59) Garry (Tracy, 63) Flamini, Connolly, Campbell, Cregg, Song, Bendtner, Lupoli (Stokes, 72) Smith. Subs not used: Efrem, Mannone.

Referee: S Beck.

Attendance: 1,421

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