Jon happy to make Christmas sacrifice

JON Walters is prepared to give up Christmas evening to support the Blues' quest for three Championship points at Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace on Saturday (kick-off 1pm).

Elvin King

JON Walters is prepared to give up Christmas evening to support the Blues' quest for three Championship points at Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace on Saturday (kick-off 1pm).

The Town skipper is banned for the game, but will be in the dressing room playing what part he can.

And he is prepared to leave his wife and two young children and spend tomorrow night in a London hotel.


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“It's up to the manager, but if he wants me to travel with the team tomorrow I will,” said Walters, who is relishing his role as captain having taken over from Gareth McAuley and Alex Bruce, who have also worn the armband this season.

He was due to sit out last weekend's game at Scunthorpe, but that game was postponed because of a frozen pitch. Walters was planning to have been at the game.

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Walters, who will train at Playford Road tomorrow whatever time he sets out for London, says there are 'lots of leaders' in the Ipswich side.

“Being suspended is gutting, but just one of those things.

“As for the captaincy, there's a good bond between the players and a lot of leaders out there.

“I don't think it will make any difference who takes the armband.

“The closer we get the less necessary it is for someone to run around screaming.

“We all know what's needed and that's shown recently in some of the performances.”

Town go into the holiday season in 21st place, which Walters admits is a sad reflection on the last four months.

He added. “We all know we haven't done very well. There's no point reflecting on the negatives.

“We were poor and there's no hiding from that.

“We're on a decent unbeaten run now, looking a lot more solid and the lads are pretty happy.

“We've just got to plough on and hopefully we can keep that form going over Christmas, when the games come thick and fast, and then into January.

“If we do that we'll continue creeping up the table and I feel hopeful for next year.”

Stern John will also be watching the game against his parent club as he is ineligible to play on Saturday.

He could be back in the starting line-up for Monday's home match against QPR.

Talking about possibly extending his Ipswich future, John said: “Players just want to play, and I'm the same.

“Everything else will take care of itself.

“I can fit into the way that Ipswich play and I scored goals under Roy Keane at Sunderland and can do it again.

“Palace will be up for the game and be tough opponents, but having seen Ipswich at close hand I'm surprised they are down there.

“They are a great bunch of lads and with the Championship being a close division there is every chance of a strong move up.”

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