Fab praise for Sylvain

SYLVAIN Legwinski was hailed the Ipswich Town hero after the Blues reached the FA Cup fifth round for the first time since 1996.And the man who heaped praise on the 33-year-old French midfielder was none other than Fabian Wilnis - the defender recognised as Town's best player in their 1-0 win over League One Swansea on Saturday.

By Elvin King

SYLVAIN Legwinski was hailed the Ipswich Town hero after the Blues reached the FA Cup (sponsored by E.ON) fifth round for the first time since 1996.

And the man who heaped praise on the 33-year-old French midfielder was none other than Fabian Wilnis - the defender recognised as Town's best player in their 1-0 win over League One Swansea on Saturday.

Legwinski, a former semi-finalist with Fulham, will have another vital part to play tomorrow when Ipswich visit Stoke City hoping to stretch a winning run to four matches.

“Sylvain is the real hero,” said Wilnis, who ended the game with the captain's armband after the departure of Richard Naylor with a badly bruised and jarred toe. Not everybody would have spotted the work he did.

“He worked tirelessly in front of the back four and made our job that much more easier.

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“He was our unsung hero doing the dirty job that always has to be done if you are to keep a clean sheet.”

From looking unlikely to make his cherished 300th Town appearance when left on the sidelines for more than two months either side of Christmas, Wilnis is set to carry on his key central defensive role at Stoke.

Along with Sito Castro - also recalled from the fringes - Naylor, Dan Harding and in the later stages Chris Casement, Wilnis played splendidly to keep the clean sheet that ensured Alan Lee's 63rd minute penalty won Ipswich Town the day.

“Some records say that I have reached 300 games already,” said the 36-year-old Dutchman, who says he is feeling as fit and healthy as at any time in his career.

“Others say I need one more game. Hopefully that will come tomorrow.

“It is up to the manager whether he keeps me in the team.

“I certainly hope so as I have no aches and pains and feel fine.”

To find out which team are Town's fifth round opponents in the FA Cup go to the Evening Star website - www.eveningstar.co.uk

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