Dutch trip will not affect us - Jason

IPSWICH skipper Jason De Vos insists the incident that saw seven of his colleagues disciplined by the club this week will not affect team morale.De Vos said: “We have obviously spoken but it is water under the bridge now and we have switched our focus to tomorrow's game at Sunderland.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH skipper Jason De Vos insists the incident that saw seven of his colleagues disciplined by the club this week will not affect team morale.

De Vos said: “We have obviously spoken but it is water under the bridge now and we have switched our focus to tomorrow's game at Sunderland. That's what matters most.”

Senior stars Alan Lee, Gavin Williams and Gary Roberts, together with Billy Clarke, Scott Barron, Chris Casement and Darryl Knights, were reprimanded for what Ipswich called an “unauthorised trip” to Amsterdam.

Boss Jim Magilton awarded his players two days off following the New Year's Day home win over the Championship leaders Birmingham and it transpired that some of them spent it in the Dutch capital.

De Vos added: “The situation was dealt with swiftly and decisively by the manager. It's in the past now and what's most important is the game at Sunderland, where we will be fully focused on getting a result.”

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The 33-year-old Canadian knows only too well how inconsistency has blighted Town's season, making it a huge task to bridge the gap and secure a top six finish.

He said: “It's the story of our season - we take on the league leaders, everything comes together and we play as we know we can, then we go to Chester in the FA Cup and nothing seems to go right.

“Yes, it's extremely frustrating, but it's what tends to happen when you have a young squad, so many of the players are still learning the game and it takes time to find a level of consistency.

“They know that you can't just turn up, lace your boots up and get through to the next round of the FA Cup.

“Every game is a different challenge, you need to adapt to that and sometimes you have to learn the hard way.”

While De Vos accepts that an away game at the Stadium of Light represents one of the toughest assignments at this level, he is adamant that Ipswich can claim what many would regard as an unlikely victory.

He added: “It's a huge challenge but it's one we are capable of facing and overcoming. These are the games that everyone loves to play.

“It's like Birmingham. The bookies were convinced we would get rolled over and few people probably expected us to win that game. It will be the same at Sunderland.

“In the game at Portman Road they were very physical and aggressive but we stood up to that and won through to secure a great result.

“The signs are that Sunderland are now playing the way Roy Keane wants them to play.

“He has made changes and brought in some good players but we won't be overawed by that.”