Fab keeps smiling

FABIAN Wilnis today insisted that it will take more than a stack of missed chances and the loss of two promotion points to knock the broad smile off his face.

By Dave Allard

FABIAN Wilnis today insisted that it will take more than a stack of missed chances and the loss of two promotion points to knock the broad smile off his face.

Ipswich Town's Dutch right-back, who played a blinder in Saturday's 1-1 Nationwide League First Division One draw at Burnley, declared: "We had the chances to finish them off – on another day we would.

"The good run keeps going and we're now only four points off the play-off zone.

"I'm playing with a big smile on my face these days. It's so different to earlier in the season. How good it is to be in the team

regularly again and playing well. It makes all the difference and I look forward to going to work."

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The 32-year-old Blues number two played a starring role in a Town side that made it eight games without defeat on a day when Spanish striker Pablo Counago gave them the lead early on.

It was his 14th goal of the season and a first-ever away strike for the club.

Not long after, Counago left the action with a head wound that needed five stitches.

And Burnley levelled after the break through a Robbie Blake penalty after Town keeper Andy Marshall rushed out to impede Ian Moore.

"It was a bad goal to give away and we had had so many chances to win the game,

especially after we went back to 3-5-2 in the second half and had the extra man in

midfield," said Wilnis.

"We only got a point when our play could have got us three, but the confidence remains. There is so much confidence here now and we are all looking forward to Saturday's home game against Preston."

Wilnis started on the substitutes' bench when Ipswich beat Barnsley 4-2 at Wembley in the 1999-2000 play-off final to reach the Premiership, but he did come on to play his part beneath the Twin Towers.

"I'm not getting carried away right now as there are so many hard games to go including several against sides in the top six," said Wilnis.

He admitted: "The thought of a great end to the season has to be at the back of your mind. To make those play-offs would be wonderful, giving the fans possibly three extra games to enjoy with the last being a visit to the Millennium Stadium.

"It would be fantastic to finish off the

season in that way. There's so much incentive even though there's a long way to go. We're playing a good passing game again and

everyone is enjoying their football.

"There is so much positive thinking in the club and it's great to be a part of it. I enjoyed the game at Burnley. It's nice to feel you've played well and I can't wait to play again."

n Town Reserves are in action against Chelsea Reserves tonight at the Aldershot Town ground.

Alun Armstrong, Finidi George, Martijn Reuser and Richard Naylor will all be in action.

Mark Venus is still not quite right after his knee injury. John McGreal is still a fortnight away from full training following a similar problem.

Town team: Pullen, Bloomfield, Richards, Hogg, Naylor Beevers, Abidallah, Westlake, Reuser, George, Armstrong. Subs: Chaffey, Price, Okay, Morrow, Robinson.

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