McAuley big doubt for Town

GARETH McAuley has been rated extremely doubtful to be fit to play Derby County on Saturday.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

GARETH McAuley has been rated extremely doubtful to be fit to play Derby County on Saturday.

The Northern Ireland international is struggling with a hamstring pull and even though scans show there is no tear medical staff at the club do not think he will be fit in time or could cause more damage if he returns to soon.

With Moritz Volz suspended for that game too after picking up five bookings, Ipswich Town will be making changes to the defence with Ben Thatcher likely to reclaim his Palace at left back, with David Wright move to right-back and Alex Bruce keeping his place at centre half alongside Richard Naylor, although Pim Balkestein is also in consideration.

The game on Saturday kicks off at 3pm so while Town will have players missing they can not use kick off time as an excuse after yet another switched kick off time failure.

Most Read

Blues first team coach Bryan Klug last night admitted they need to look at their preparations for 5.20pm kick offs.

The 1-0 loss at Doncaster followed an evening loss at Watford and a draw at home with Crystal Palace.

Klug said: “I don't want to look at excuses but maybe we have to look at our preparations for games that kick off at that time. It is the third time this season where we have kicked off at 5.20pm and we have not performed well in any of them.”

The Blues take on the Rams who have an identical win, loss and draw record but sit one place behind Town in 12th on goal difference.

Klug insists Ipswich need to forget The Keepmoat loss and focus on getting all three points to try and push back into the top ten.

He said: “We never got into our stride at Doncaster or anywhere near it. We let them set the tempo and that has not been like us for a long time.

Derby are also struggling with injuries with defenders Martin Albrechtsen and Dean Leacock but struggling to be fit.