Town may turn to teenager Connor

BOY wonder Connor Wickham is set to do a man's job when the Blues play Blackpool in the third round of the FA Cup at Bloomfield Road tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

Elvin King

BOY wonder Connor Wickham is set to do a man's job when the Blues play Blackpool in the third round of the FA Cup at Bloomfield Road tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

The 16-year-old striker impressed Town manager Roy Keane when he has come on as a second half substitute in the two Christmas matches.

And with in-form joint leading scorer Jon Stead starting a four-match suspension and Stern John having returned to Crystal Palace, Wickham is tipped to provide the goals that will take Ipswich through to the next round.

He took a knock in training yesterday but is expected to be fit to travel with the Town party later today.

Pablo Counago, Tamas Priskin and Lee Martin will come into contention, but a Wickham/Jon Walters front running partnership is the one they Keane is toying with using.

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“Connor's looked strong in his cameo roles,” said Keane.

“But do I start with him? Is he ready to start a game, who knows?

“This is something I will decide and I have decent options in Pablo Counago and Tamas Priskin.”

Until he is 17 in March Wickham cannot sign a permanent deal with Ipswich, but his agent ex-Town striker and caretaker joint manager Paul Goddard is talking positively about the Colchester-based player being at Portman Road long term.

“There has been interest in the boy,” said Goddard. “But I believe Connor will be better served at Ipswich although nothing has been signed and sealed yet.”

Sunderland are happy to allow Jack Colback to play tomorrow while Town keeper Richard Wright is returning today from a sunshine break in Dubai as he recovers from a severe knee injury sustained at Cardiff on November 28.

Keane quipped that he might send Stead off to Barbados while he sits out the next four games.

“I'd better not say too much,” said Keane. “I don't mind a referee making a wrong decision but if Jon's tackle deserves four games I'm glad I'm not playing any more.”

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