Impressed Colgan hails successful Blues

WHATEVER happens at Deepdale, Preston today Ipswich Town are a successful club. So says number two Blues keeper Nick Colgan, who has been impressed by everything at Portman Road since his arrival on a short-term deal from Barnsley in January.

Elvin King

WHATEVER happens at Deepdale, Preston today Ipswich Town are a successful club.

So says number two Blues keeper Nick Colgan, who has been impressed by everything at Portman Road since his arrival on a short-term deal from Barnsley in January.

“This is a proper professional football club - from top to bottom,” said Colgan, 34.

“Any professional worth his salt would want to play for a club like this with a passionate manager and dedicated players. Coming here has been like a breath of fresh air to me.”

Colgan would like to stay when his current deal ends this summer, and he added: “I came here to play first-team football, something I want to do for the next five or six years.

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“To be honest, the level of reserve team football here is not very good and it is difficult to make an impact when you are only playing infrequent games.

“But I will sit down with the manager inside the next two weeks and see what the future holds. At the moment it is all about the football club doing well, not what individuals are doing.”

Preston will be in celebratory mood when they entertain Town today. Win, lose or draw, their manager Alan Irvine has revealed his players will be saying 'thank you' to fans after the match with an end-of-term lap of the stadium.

“It is our last home match,” said Irvine, who has lifted Preston out of severe relegation trouble since his arrival from Everton.

“Our supporters have been terrific throughout what has been a trying season for everyone.

“There hasn't been much for them to cheer about and it would be nice to finish on a high for them.

“The players will be going round afterwards to thank fans for their support and it would be nice if we could do that with a victory under our belts.”

Irvine has confirmed that he will give full debuts to defenders Michael Hart and Neal Trotman following injuries to Billy Jones and Sean St Ledger.

Right-back Hart has not even made an appearance on the first-team bench since arriving from Scottish Premier Division side Aberdeen in January.

A hip injury he suffered on Boxing Day against Gretna took more than two months to clear up and he has since been playing in the reserves, waiting for his chance. He replaces Jones, who badly gashed his ankle at Plymouth last weekend.

Trotman, whose full North End debut comes on his 21st birthday, stands in for St Ledger after the Republic of Ireland international suffered a hamstring strain at Home Park.

The youngster replaced St Ledger after half an hour and did well once his nerves had settled, winning important headers and offering a commanding physical presence.

Today's likely squads

Preston: Lonergan, Jones, Mawene, Trotman, Davidson, Sedgwick, McKenna, Chaplow, L Neal, Mellor, Hawley, Carter, C Neal, Hill, Hart, Whaley.

Ipswich Town: Bywater, Simpson, Bruce, De Vos, Wright, Haynes, Miller, Garvan, Quinn, Walters, Counago, Lee, Kuqi, Colgan, Sumulikoski, Sito, Williams, Trotter, Rhodes, Roberts, Harding.

Referee: Mr E Ilderton (Tyne and Wear).

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