Bumper gate guaranteed for Hull

IPSWICH Town are guaranteed a bumper gate for their red-hot Sunday crunch match against Hull City at Portman Road (kick-off 2pm).Victory could see the Blues qualify for the Coca-Cola Championship play-offs - and the game has caught the imagination of the Ipswich public.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town are guaranteed a bumper gate for their red-hot Sunday crunch match against Hull City at Portman Road (kick-off 2pm).

Victory could see the Blues qualify for the Coca-Cola Championship play-offs - and the game has caught the imagination of the Ipswich public.

Over 27,000 tickets have already been sold with Hull taking up their full allowance of 2,200 for a contest that is being shown live on satellite television.

John Ford, the Ipswich ticket and call centre manager, said that tickets would probably only be available for the ticket office on match day.

“It looks like being our second highest gate of the season after the 29,656 that watched our last home game against Norwich City,” said Ford, who is hoping that he and his staff will be working overtime next week.

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“There is bound to be a great atmosphere, and we are all looking for the same result we enjoyed against the Canaries.

“If we qualify for the play-offs then we will be working flat out next week getting ready for the home semi-final on May 10 or 11.”

Jim Magilton's Ipswich side have always responded to noisy backing this season with comprehensive wins over West Brom, Charlton and Norwich when the atmosphere has been super-charged.

And the Blues boss, and his players, is aware of the part supporters can play.

“They can be our 12th man, and we will be looking for them to help us do our job on Sunday,” said Magilton, who has a date with an FA disciplinary panel at Soho Square, London today.

He may not be on the bench against Hull after being sent to the stands after a dispute with a referee over the use of the multi-ball system at Stoke on February 23.

After having two similar hearings inside the last 12 months he can expect a fine and touchline ban as he is not appealing against his punishment.

Town skipper Jason De Vos does not see the fact that Magilton may be confined to the stands a problem.

The central defender said: “I am sure the gaffer will have us firing on all cylinders.

“It won't make much difference that he will not be in the dug-out area as once you cross the white line it is up to the players.

“It is us who have to make the split-second decisions that decide games.”

Magilton has a full squad to select from apart from long-term casualties Richard Naylor and David Norris and he is unlikely to tinker much with the side that drew their last two matches at Wolves and Preston.

Striker Alan Lee may come into his thoughts after looking good in late substitute appearances at Molineux and Deepdale, but the pace of Danny Haynes can be a real threat to opposition defenders in a game where Town must win and hope that two out of three of Watford, Crystal Palace and Wolves slip up to allow them to move up from eighth to fifth or sixth.

Hull need to win to keep alive their chances of automatic promotion and their manager Phil Brown has been making bold statements all week, and saying that he hopes to have a full squad to select from.

But serious doubts surround the fitness of Dean Windass (gashed calf), Andy Dawson (foot) and Henrik Pedersen (calf strain), while long-term absentees Jay-Jay Okocha and Richard Garcia are making good progress but are long shots to start.

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