In...and out for Town
IPSWICH'S injured stars are on their way back – but their return to action couldcoincide with others being banned.Four casualties – Chris Makin, Tommy Miller, Martijn Reuser and Drissa Diallo – are on the comeback trail.
By Mel Henderson
IPSWICH'S injured stars are on their way back – but their return to action could
coincide with others being banned.
Four casualties – Chris Makin, Tommy Miller, Martijn Reuser and Drissa Diallo – are on the comeback trail.
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But boss Joe Royle knows their return could be offset by suspensions to several members of his wafer-thin squad.
Loan pair Chris Bart-Williams and Alan Mahon, together with three-goal defender Richard Naylor, are most at risk.
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They are all just one yellow card away from serving a one-game ban, while new boys Diallo and Georges Santos are each on three bookings.
Royle said: "We don't have a discipline problem – it's just indicative of the
early-season rash of yellow cards that is affecting every club.
"There's no doubt, though, that it will be good for us to welcome back the injured
players at a time when we could well have players suspended. We can offset one with the other, if that's how it works out."
An upbeat Royle – "winning four league games out of five is promotion form" – said Saturday's trip to Bradford would come too soon for any of his injured quartet.
But he reported: "Chris Makin could well come into consideration for the home game against Burnley tomorrow week.
"He is doing well and training again. Tommy Miller is also training again and Drissa should start doing some work in the next few days. It's good that we're no longer referring to them as being out for the next three or four weeks.
"As for Martijn, he has been back in Holland to see a specialist for a second opinion. He confirmed what we had already been told here, that it could be a hernia.
"But the specialist advised Martijn that he should carry on playing to see if he can get through."
Royle was full of praise for the contribution of Charlton midfielder Bart-Williams, who is staying at Portman Road for a second, and
possibly a third, month.
He said: "Having Chris around has
benefited the whole team, but in particular the other midfield players because he's happy to stay around and defend.
"Jermaine Wright had an excellent game on Saturday, probably his best performance of the season when he has started. He was a bit
slower to get fit than the others, but has been doing well lately.
"He knows he can be that bit more
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attack-minded with Chris around, while Jim Magilton can also get on his way. As for Alan Mahon, he is an offensive midfielder in any case and he's doing a terrific job."
Meanwhile, teenage striker Darren Bent has joined up with the England Under-21 squad for Friday's clash with Turkey in Istanbul, at the home of league leaders Besiktas.
The 19-year-old, who was not considered fit enough to figure in Saturday's 2-1 home defeat of Rotherham, will also be absent at Bradford at the weekend.
Royle said: "It will do Darren good to get away with the international side. He was touch and go at the weekend with his knee problem.
"It's not long-term. I had always planned to play Pablo Counago and Shefki Kuqi anyway and it didn't make sense to have him on the bench when he wasn't 100 per cent."
The Town players were given a day off today, with Royle planning a double training session tomorrow.