Jim: 'We can do it'

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today issued a 'we can do it' message to Blues fans.His team go into Saturday's game at Preston needing three points to stay in the hunt for a Coca-Cola Championship play-off place.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today issued a 'we can do it' message to Blues fans.

His team go into Saturday's game at Preston needing three points to stay in the hunt for a Coca-Cola Championship play-off place.

Magilton remains confident that his side can do enough over the last two matches to move up from their current eighth place into the top six.

It is crunch time and much will depend on what happens elsewhere with Crystal Palace three points above Ipswich in sixth place - and Wolverhampton one point ahead of the Blues.

Town can still also catch Watford and possibly Bristol City, but Magilton doesn't want his players' minds wandering elsewhere at Deepdale on Saturday.

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Palace are away to Hull on Saturday and Wolves away to Coventry.

Magilton said today: “We must concentrate on our own job in hand and not worry about what others teams are doing.

“We must focus on the job in hand and come out of the game at Preston as winners.

“There is only ourselves we need worry about.

“Three points will see us still in the hunt going into our final match at home to Hull City. And then you never know what might happen. We can do it.”

Magilton is hoping to have 'lucky charm' Shefki Kuqi back in his squad with the 31-year-old striker making his usually rapid recovery from injury.

Kuqi thought he would be over his latest hamstring problem to be able to feature against Preston, and this looks as though it could be the case although no chances will be taken.

In his two games since he re-joined the Blues on loan from Crystal Palace until the end of the season, Kuqi's presence has sparkled Town into two impressive performances - beating Charlton and Norwich comprehensively.

He picked up a hamstring strain against Charlton and tweaked a hamstring against Norwich both after receiving a wonderful reception from Ipswich supporters.

Kuqi has made it clear that he would like to make his move to Portman Road permanent and he returned to full training today with a view to being considered for Saturday.

Magilton said: “Shefki is busting a gut to get back, and we will see how he goes today. He has been working closely with the medical team.”

One player unlikely to feature at Deepdale is David Norris, who is still being monitored on his troublesome heel injury.

If he doesn't make it this weekend it could signal the end of his season for the £2million January purchase from Plymouth unless the play-offs are reached.

Ipswich are considering playing a pre-season friendly at League Two Brentford with Friday July 11 given as a possible date.

But the club said today that this has not been confirmed and work is still progressing on a close season schedule.

At the moment Magilton has three returning dates for his players in mind depending on whether the Blues reach the play-offs or not. A European tour is being considered but nothing is likely to be confirmed until the season has ended.

An Ipswich XI including Liam Trotter, Dean Bowditch and Chris Casement defeated a Republic of Ireland Under-19 team 1-0 in a friendly at Playford Road on Tuesday. Reggie Lambe scored the goal.

Former Town defender Chris Makin, 34, has been forced to retire from football due to a hip injury which has kept him out of the Southampton side since September.

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