Jim hoping to begin another home run

JIM Magilton has today set his squad a task - to begin another long unbeaten home run.His sixth-placed Ipswich Town team take on Blackpool at Portman Road tomorrow (kick-off 3pm), looking to put the club's home form back on track.

Elvin King

JIM Magilton has today set his squad a task - to begin another long unbeaten home run.

His sixth-placed Ipswich Town team take on Blackpool at Portman Road tomorrow (kick-off 3pm), looking to put the club's home form back on track.

After finally finding their feet away from home with two wins on the trot, the last thing Magilton wants is a continuation of the disappointing home form that has seen just one win in the last six home games.

Last Saturday's 1-0 home reverse to uncompromising Watford was the first home league defeat in 20 games, and Magilton said: “We were all bitterly disappointed to see our home run come to an end.

“I was hoping to keep it going until the end of the year, but now we have to start again and look to put together another long run.

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“Blackpool gave us a very difficult game at their place a few weeks back and I'm expecting much the same tomorrow.

“They've had some excellent results after taking the step-up from League One and, if we are not on our game, they could end up with another one.

“But our home form has been excellent this season and it's important that we get back on track after last week against Watford.”

With Macedonian international Velice Sumulikoski certain to make his full home debut after impressing friend and foe alike since his arrival in the transfer window there is hot competition for midfield places.

Owen Garvan was “rested” in the 1-0 win at Palace on Tuesday, while Gavin Williams and Sylvain Legwinski were not even in the squad that travelled to London.

Tommy Miller appreciates the stiff competition, but he says it is good for the club.

The 29-year-old said: “The manager brought in five newcomers last month, and it is keeping us on our toes.

“We now have three more midfielders and although I may face stiffer opposition it is a challenge that I relish.

“The additions have strengthened the squad and made us better placed to move forward.

“Winning our last two away games have been massive results - and we must now build on this.

“With the current strength of our squad and the talented youngsters we have coming through there is bags of optimism among the players.

“There is a buzz around the training ground and everything to play for.”

Richard Naylor made his first start since last February on Tuesday and will continue to partner skipper Jason De Vos at the heart of the defence.

Garvan and David Wright (also rested on Tuesday), could be considered for a return to the side while up front Pablo Counago has enjoyed some excellent games at home this campaign, but is expected to lose out again with Alan Lee and Jon Walters doing well at Palace.

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