Jim: Time to get home form back on track

IPSWICH Town manger Jim Magilton today said now was the time to get the club's home form back on track.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manger Jim Magilton today said now was the time to get the club's home form back on track.

The Blues entertain lowly Crystal Palace in the Coca-Cola championship in a televised match at Portman Road tomorrow (kick off 5.20pm) with Magilton expecting his players to turn on the style.

Palace have lost all three of their away league games and Ipswich, if they show the form they produced when virtually untouchable at home last season, will surely collect three valuable points as they look to move up the table.

Magilton said: “We have got to gain a stranglehold in the game and then take the ball to the opposition.

“The difference this season from last at Portman Road is that we have not found the net when we have been dominant.

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“We must start doing this again, and hopefully from tomorrow.

“This is a more important match than our Carling Cup game against Wigan last Wednesday as the league campaign is paramount to us - although the two competitions can go hand in hand.”

Striker Pablo Counago could be back in contention as he is making a good recovery from an ankle injury sustained in training last Friday that saw him miss Ipswich's last two matches.

He trained today, and will be assessed tomorrow. There are doubts about defenders Moritz Volz and David Wright who will also be looked at with a late decision being made.

Volz has a tight hamstring while Wright injured his calf on Wednesday before the Wigan 4-1 home defeat.

Definitely out, and set to be unavailable for at least five weeks, is left back Ben Thatcher who has a muscle tear in his right thigh and will need extensive treatment before he is back playing once more.

Magilton added: “We have Alex Bruce and Pim Balkestein who can play at full back while Richard Naylor will be back in the team after being rested on Wednesday.

“The fact that Palace have lost their three previous away league matches will make them more dangerous and we will have to be aware of this.

“People might expect us to be on top and gain the points but it will not be that easy.

“I am pleased that neither Alan Lee nor James Scowcroft will be in the side as there is always danger when former players return.

“Both served Ipswich Town very well and I am sure would have got a great ovation if they had been here tomorrow.

“And Craig Beattie will feel he has a point to prove and will be a serious threat which we will have to take care of.”

Beattie has been signed by Palace on loan from West Brom to improve their front running options and is set to start tomorrow when Magilton admits he has a dilemma in who to play in midfield.

He said: “Ivan Campo was composed and looked good against Wigan and I have plenty of midfield options with Tommy Miller also doing well on Wednesday while Owen Garvan and Veliche Shumulikoski were in dominant mode at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.”

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