Fab's departure fears

FABIAN Wilnis fears he may have played his last game for Ipswich.There was no more disconsolate figure after last night's play-off defeat by West Ham than the Dutch full-back, who was making his 250th appearance.

FABIAN Wilnis fears he may have played his last game for Ipswich.

There was no more disconsolate figure after last night's play-off defeat by West Ham than the Dutch full-back, who was making his 250th appearance.

Wilnis, 34, has given six-and-a-half years of sterling service to the club but with his contract due to expire next month he faces an uncertain future.

He is not alone - Jim Magilton, Shefki Kuqi, Drissa Diallo and Tommy Miller are all in the same boat - but Wilnis has no idea whether he will be offered a new deal.

“I have said my goodbyes to the boys in the dressing room,” said an emotional Wilnis after the Hammers shattered Ipswich's promotion dream for the second year in a row.

“I hope it is not the end. I told them that I hope to see them all again on July 4 when we return for pre-season training, but I will just have to wait and see what the future holds for me.

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“This time last year I didn't think I could be any more disappointed than I was then, after we were beaten at Upton Park. That was a horrible time.

“But this is worse. The belief was definitely there that we could do it this time, but it wasn't to be.”

Wilnis reflected on the season just ended, but despite his disappointment he refused to feel sorry for himself.

He added: “We were just two points away from automatic promotion and we finished 12 points better off than West Ham.

“It's a cruel system, the play-offs, but we knew the rules beforehand so we can't complain about that.

“It just makes it hard to accept. I will replay that game over and over in my mind but it won't change the fact that we lost.

“It was quite an open first half and both teams had chances. I was quite surprised that it was still 0-0 at half-time, but from our point of view their first goal was a silly one for us to give away.

“That first goal was always going to be so important. We had to go after an equaliser and we got caught out again when they scored again.”

Wilnis refused to be drawn on whether Ipswich had played to their full potential on a night when the Hammers' steel-like qualities and disciplined approach helped to earn them a priceless victory.

He said: “Now is not the time to be critical. At this moment we are just so very disappointed at how it has ended and I am unable to say much more.

“I really hope I will still be an Ipswich player next season but it is too early to say what is going to happen.

“I must sit down with the manager and see how the club feels about keeping me, but that can wait. I can't see me doing anything until I am over the disappointment.”

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