Naylor ready to answer Town call

IPSWICH Town's longest-serving player Richard Naylor today said that he was ready to help lift the Blues into a promotion challenge in the Coca-Cola Championship.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town's longest-serving player Richard Naylor today said that he was ready to help lift the Blues into a promotion challenge in the Coca-Cola Championship.

The 30-year-old central defender could be in the squad for the match at Coventry City that is being televised live on satellite TV and kicks off at 5.20pm.

He has been out for almost a year with a toe and then a neck injury, but he said today: “If the manager needs me to play tomorrow then I will.

“I have been training for the last couple of weeks and in an ideal world it would have been nice to have had a reserve game or two.

“But I am ready to come back if that is what the manager wants.”

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Alex Bruce is suffering from a reaction to his groin strain and he misses the trip to the Ricoh Arena while Sito Castro is also missing as he recovers from concussion.

Bruce will have treatment this weekend and said: “There is some scar tissue problems and it gets sore under stress. Hopefully I will be back sooner rather than later.”

Town boss Jim Magilton appreciates his side needs to improve their away form having not won on their last 16 trips but on the eve of 2008 he said today: “We are exactly where we want to be. We are in seventh place and I have a great deal of faith in my squad.

“The 11 I selected on Wednesday was my strongest on paper and when the window opens next month I am not in a desperate position to bring players in.

“We do need to apply ourselves more and Coventry are a side that we know we are capable of beating.

“We have been picking up points at home so we must be doing something right. There is pressure all round to do well, but at the end of the day it is the players who have to do it themselves.

“We looked as though we were waiting for things to happen at Leicester on Wednesday and our confidence was a bit low. We have a good record at Coventry and in front of the TV cameras there will be no hiding place.”

Talking about Naylor, his former room mate when Magilton was a Town player, the Blues' boss said: “Richard stands up to be counted and has the mental strength to make a difference away from home.

“He will want to be 100 per cent confident about his fitness and it may be a risk, but we will see how he goes today in training and he might well be included in the squad.”

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