Town quartet could face Brazilians

FOUR Ipswich Town players have surely moved a step closer to facing the boys from Brazil at the Emirates Stadium in three weeks time.

Elvin King

FOUR Ipswich Town players have surely moved a step closer to facing the boys from Brazil at the Emirates Stadium in three weeks time.

Marco Tardelli, who is assistant to Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, was at Loftus Road on Tuesday when Town beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1 to move up the Championship table.

Damien Delaney had an outstanding game at the back while striker Daryl Murphy notched a well-taken goal and skipper Jon Walters was inspirational in midfield.

And 22-year-old midfielder Owen Garvan, like Walters still uncapped at senior level, did his reputation no harm in midfield.

The Republic of Ireland play their first game since their controversial exit from the World Cup at the hands of France in the play-offs when they take on Brazil at Arsenal's headquarters on Tuesday, March 2.

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“It was great to hear that Marco Tardelli was at Tuesday's game, and I understand he could be looking at us again,” said Delaney.

“To get a call would be wonderful and to have him at our games is a boost.”

While Walters would love an international call-up his current focus is on helping to lift the Blues clear of relegation trouble.

They moved up to fifth from bottom on Tuesday, and 'Bring them on' was Walters' message today.

He sees it as a bonus that the next trio of Championship games are all against fellow struggling teams.

They travel to bottom club Peterborough on Tuesday followed by trips to Sheffield Wednesday and Scunthorpe.

“It makes such a difference when you beat teams that are around you,” said Walters.

“Victories are worth six points as you move ahead and they fall further back.”

Walters is looking no further than the next fortnight as Ipswich aim to make up for their dreadful start to the season and move into a respectable league position.

“We got carried away a few weeks ago and started talking about things going well,” added Walters, who is fully recovered from a hamstring tear he suffered at Southampton on January 23.

“Tuesday was a very big win and it was desperately needed. I'm pleased for the manager, staff, players and supporters.

“When QPR pulled a goal back I thought 'oh no here we go again' but we dug in and defended well as a team and covered in the latter stages for Gareth McAuley who was struggling with a knock.

“It was the perfect start to this current sequence of games and the three more to follow will be far from easy.

“We know we will have to battle hard and show the character that we know we have in the squad.”

Walters was happy with the shape of the side at Loftus Road with Jaime Peters and Jack Colback acting as forward thinking full backs.

“Rangers had nothing to lose in the second period and by the final whistle we had made hard work of it,” said Walters.

“But we passed it well and deserved our success.”

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