Promotion there for the taking - Walters

BLUES marathon man Jonathan Walters today said promotion to the Premier League is there for Ipswich Town's taking.The striker, who has missed just 25 minutes of league action all season, looked at the Coca-Cola Championship table and said: “We will only have ourselves to blame if we throw it away.

Elvin King

BLUES marathon man Jonathan Walters today said promotion to the Premier League is there for Ipswich Town's taking.

The striker, who has missed just 25 minutes of league action all season, looked at the Coca-Cola Championship table and said: “We will only have ourselves to blame if we throw it away.”

Last month Walters said that if the Blues were to hold on to seventh place after a tricky run of matches that ends with Saturday's trip to Southampton they would be well-placed to go up.

Town lost 1-0 on Saturday at leaders Stoke City, who last night went down 2-0 away to struggling Preston. They go into the match at St Mary's Stadium one place outside the top six, and Walters added: “We have earned our chance and have given ourselves a fantastic opportunity.

“It is now make or break time, when we will all have to stand up and be counted.

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“This is the time to push on, to qualify for the play-offs and then go on.

“There will be twists and turns in the final weeks, but we are well placed to take advantage of our position.”

Walters has not missed a league start this season and been subbed just twice - after 75 minutes and a hat-trick against Bristol City) and ten minutes from time in the 3-1 home win over Leicester, in which he also scored.

“There are some busy times ahead and I relish that,” said the 24-year-old. “I want to be involved in every minute of every game.

“I like to come off the pitch after every game shattered both physically and mentally. I don't want to look back and think I could have done more.

“This can take its toll, but I can handle that. I enjoy hard work.”

Walters is keeping his fingers crossed that David Nugent signs on loan from Portsmouth for the rest of the season.

“Bring him on, I say. He can help us get where we want to be and Alan Lee was right when he said we would welcome him with open arms.”

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