Fab willing to go through pain barrier

FABIAN Wilnis is willing to push himself through the pain barrier to prolong Ipswich's play-off surge.The experienced Dutch defender remains a doubt for tomorrow's trip to face a Wolves side locked on the same points tally as Town.

By Mel Henderson

FABIAN Wilnis is willing to push himself through the pain barrier to prolong Ipswich's play-off surge.

The experienced Dutch defender remains a doubt for tomorrow's trip to face a Wolves side locked on the same points tally as Town.

Wilnis, 35, suffered bruised ribs in Tuesday's 2-1 win at Crewe and his prospects for the weekend looked bleak.

But he said today: “I can feel it is getting better and I am lucky that I am generally a quick healer.

“At first I could hardly even breathe and I couldn't sleep very well. The pain was unbelievable, but every day it has been a bit better and I don't want to miss such a massive game.

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“It is a six-pointer. A win would be terrific in our situation and hopefully I will be OK to play.”

Along with his Portman Road colleagues, Wilnis has the scent of the play-offs in his nostrils.

He added: “We have shown great character in our recent games and if we can keep going who knows where it will take us.

“We are unbeaten in eight games and the really pleasing thing is that we have been playing well as we have kept picking up points.

“Even with the injury problems at the club we have kept going and we don't want to stop now with so much at stake.

“There is so much confidence around now and we are a team in form.”

Wilnis insisted that even during a gloomy period a few weeks ago he remained in positive mood.

Not even a run of just one win in eight games could dent his confidence. He added: “I have always been looking upwards.

“I know there was a time when the fans were looking down the table and they were worried, but even when it seemed the tiniest possibility I never gave up hope.

“I don't know why it should be the case, but in my seven years at the club we have always performed better in the second half of the season and it is proving to be the same this year.

“We had a terrible start to the season so to have recovered and be in with a chance of the play-offs is a big plus for everyone.

Meanwhile, Ipswich boss Joe Royle is backing his injury-hit side to come up trumps in tomorrow's clash with play-off rivals Wolves.

Royle remained upbeat despite a growing casualty list and insisted: “We are playing well enough to go anywhere at the moment.

“Our last three results speak volumes for the squad - three 2-1 wins from being a goal down in each game and against difficult opposition.

“We had a derby at Norwich, then a stubborn Burnley side who are difficult to break down and finally Tuesday's trip to Crewe, which hasn't always been a happy hunting ground for us over the years.”

Spanish defender Sito missed training yesterday with a swollen knee but Royle expects him to be ready in time for tomorrow's test, as is the case with on-loan midfielder Jimmy Juan, who is troubled with a sore heel.

There is more concern about Fabian Wilnis, who suffered a rib injury at Crewe, although he is a long way from being written off just yet.

Royle envisages nothing less than a difficult game at Molineux, although he observed: “They are not having the sort of time they would like at the moment.

“But they won at Burnley the other night and they still have a very talented squad. They turned us over up there last season, so we'll try to avenge that.

“When you look at their players they will feel they should be doing better than they are and it seems to be hard for them at times in front of their own fans.”

SQUADS

Ipswich: Supple, Sito, Wilnis, R Naylor, De Vos, Barron, Juan, Magilton, Garvan, Westlake, Richards, Currie, Fuller, McDonald, Peters and Price.

Wolves: Postma, Ross, Lescott, Craddock, L Naylor, Davies, Ince, Rosa, Kennedy, Anderton, Cort, Frankowski, Miller, Aliadiere, Ganea and Oakes.

Referee: Andy Woolmer (Kettering).

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