Matt: Result could tip the balance

“TOMORROW'S result could tip the balance for both sides,” says former Ipswich Town favourite Matt Holland.The 33-year-old will be making his first competitive return to Portman Road (kick-off 3pm) since his transfer to Charlton Athletic in June 2003.

Elvin King

“TOMORROW'S result could tip the balance for both sides,” says former Ipswich Town favourite Matt Holland.

The 33-year-old will be making his first competitive return to Portman Road (kick-off 3pm) since his transfer to Charlton Athletic in June 2003.

And he knows the importance of the occasion with both clubs fighting for a Coca-Cola Championship play-off place.

“The result could dictate the season for both clubs,” said Holland.

“It is so tight and so balanced - and it could tip either way for both clubs tomorrow.”

Most Read

Holland says it will be an emotional occasion for him after leading the Blues to the Premier League and into the UEFA Cup.

He rarely missed a match and played a total of 337 matches for Ipswich after joining from Bournemouth in August 1977 - scoring 46 goals.

“We are well aware of Ipswich's great home record, and in the second half of our 3-1 win at the Valley earlier in the season proved what a good side they are,” added Holland.

“They will be very hard to beat at Portman Road.

“It will be an emotional return for me, but there will be no time for any favours.

“We need a win - in fact we both do - and I shall be doing all I can to pocket three points for Charlton.

“In an ideal world it would be nice to see Charlton and Ipswich first and second in the table with no need to concern ourselves about the play-offs.

“We have been suffering from a sticky spell - and games are running out with just seven for us after tomorrow.

“Because it is all so close, we have not lost ground despite an often disappointing sequence of results.”

Holland's contract ends in the summer - and he will be linked with a return to Portman Road.

“It is not for me to comment on that right now,” said the former Republic of Ireland international who lives in north Essex.

“Talks on a new contract have been put on hold until the end of the campaign, but I plan to carry on playing.

“I was injured at the start of the season, but now feel as fit as at any time in my career. My stats show I am at the same level now as I was six or seven years ago.”

Tomorrow's likely squads

Ipswich Town: Bywater, Colgan, Bruce, De Vos, Naylor, Wright, Harding, Norris, Sumulikoski, Garvan, Quinn, Miller, Walters, Lee, Counago, Rhodes, Trotter, Legwinski, Williams, Wilnes.

Charlton: Weaver, Halford, Sodje, McCarthy, Thatcher, Semedo, Zhi, Holland, Thomas, Ambrose, Varney, Gray, Iwelumo, Lita, Elliot, Fortune, Cook.

Referee: Mr N Miller (Durham).

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter