Dean to fill Town void
DEAN McDonald will make his first Ipswich start against Atletico Madrid on Friday.The diminutive 19-year-old, signed after being released by Arsenal last year, will be paired up front with £450,000 new boy Sam Parkin against the Spanish giants.
DEAN McDonald will make his first Ipswich start against Atletico Madrid on Friday.
The diminutive 19-year-old, signed after being released by Arsenal last year, will be paired up front with £450,000 new boy Sam Parkin against the Spanish giants.
Another recent signing, ex Reading goal ace Nicky Forster, is struggling with a thigh strain and teenager Dean Bowditch also has a heavily bruised foot.
Town boss Joe Royle said: “We are not taking any risks at this stage, with the start of the season just around the corner.
“If we were preparing for the last game of the season and we needed three points it might be different.
“We might strap people up and get them out there, but there's no need to take chances at this point in time.”
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Forster was forced to sit out the second game of the club's short Hungarian tour, the 1-0 defeat by Diosgyor, and it was in the first half of that game that Bowditch suffered his injury.
Royle added: “Our resources are stretched to start with, so this is something we could have done without and there is no point taking any risks.”
Irish teenager Owen Garvan, who is staking a strong claim for a place in the senior squad, is also nursing a similar problem to that of Bowditch.
On-loan Monaco midfielder Jimmy Juan completes a hat-trick of bruised foot casualties, although he is on the mend after being left out of the trip to Hungary.
Royle said: “Jimmy couldn't even put a football boot on until yesterday, so we are hoping he can join in today.”
There is more positive news of experienced midfielder Kevin Horlock, who picked up a dead leg in last week's 2-0 home defeat by Rangers and did not travel to Hungary.
The former Northern Ireland international is now back in training and will be available for Friday's test.
Meanwhile, Royle will have a close look at Spanish trialist Sito - full name Luis Castro Rodriguez - in training over the next couple of days.
The 25-year-old defender, a free agent after leaving Second Division side Racing Ferrol, is in line to make an appearance against his fellow countrymen on Friday.
Royle said: “Our chief scout, Colin Suggett, picked him up at the airport yesterday. He speaks a bit of English and he can play right or left-back.
“We are taking the opportunity to have a look at him. He has been recommended to us and we'll see how he does in training before making a decision about Friday.
“He's not the first trialist we have had and he won't be the last. I am also working on trying to bring in a French centre-half.”