De Vos: Play-off chase not in our hands

JASON De Vos today put Ipswich's play-off dream firmly into perspective.

JASON De Vos today put Ipswich's play-off dream firmly into perspective, writes Mel Henderson.

The big defender was speaking on the eve of his side's away clash with rivals Preston, a game that could go a long way towards deciding whether or not Town can achieve a top-six finish.

De Vos, 32, said: “The reality of the situation is that we could win all ten of our remaining games, which is not beyond us, and still miss out.

“On the other hand, even if we drop points between now and the end of the season, we might still qualify for the play-offs.

“Our destiny is not in our hands. But every season it seems a team comes with a charge to get there - and the way we are playing I believe that team could be us.

“It always seems to go right to the last day of the season and there is always a story. We had it at Wigan two years ago when we were fighting to get into the play-offs.

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“Last game of the season and we're at home to West Ham. We know a win will do it and we're 1-0 ahead right up to the last minute.

“Then Brian Deane equalises and everything changes. West Ham are in, Crystal Palace lose - but they get in because we can only draw - and it's us who miss out.”

De Vos sums up the situation neatly, meaning that tomorrow's trip to Deepdale doesn't quite fall into the must-win category.

There is no doubt, however, that to triumph at the expense of the sixth-placed Lilywhites, who are five points better off and have two games in hand, would be a massive boost to Ipswich's hopes of securing a play-off place for the third year in a row.

The Canadian star said: “We need to go for the three points and hope to put Preston under a little bit more pressure.

“As things stand we want them to have a bit of a twitch and drop points. We can get to within two points of them if we win tomorrow.

“I know they have two games in hand on us, but there are no guarantees that they will collect maximum points from them.

“Preston might lose four on the bounce. It can happen, so we're not going to concede anything if we don't win tomorrow, just as we won't be over-celebrating if we do take all three points.”

De Vos insisted that Town's form surge - last month's narrow defeat at Wolves is the only one they have suffered in a ten-game run that has reaped 21 points - was always on the cards.

He added: “I always knew we were capable and sometimes it just takes time. After the turnover in players last summer we've had problems with injuries.

“I've never been anywhere and seen so many players affected. If it wasn't for bad luck we'd have no luck at all.

“The young lads have come in and filled the holes, and we have gone from strength to strength. We are on a good run and playing with a lot of confidence.

“We are strong at the back and we look like scoring goals. Everything is clicking at the right time of the season and the Preston game is the first of ten cup finals we have to play.”