Jeffers bids to ban his cup blues

FRANCIS Jeffers plans to make up for missing out on an FA Cup semi-final this weekend.The 27-year-old ex-England striker will be looking for goals for Ipswich Town against Derby County at Portman Road tomorrow.

By Elvin King

FRANCIS Jeffers plans to make up for missing out on an FA Cup semi-final this weekend.

The 27-year-old ex-England striker will be looking for goals for Ipswich Town against Derby County at Portman Road tomorrow.

On-loan from Blackburn Rovers, who play Chelsea on Sunday for a place in the FA Cup final, Jeffers has found a new lease of life since joining Ipswich last month.


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After recovering from a hamstring tear, he is now at Portman Road until the end of the season - and a continuation of his current form will add weight to reports that Town will attempt to make the move permanent in the summer.

Magilton is at the stage of the season where he is considering the futures of a number of his players.

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With top scorer Alan Lee and the impressive Jonathan Walters forming an effective front-running partnership - and Danny Haynes and Billy Clarke waiting in the wings - the Ipswich Town future for Dean Bowditch is in the balance.

Bowditch has failed to make the progress expected after bursting on to the first team scene as a 17-year-old. His contract runs out in the summer of 2008 and with Jeffers also on board, his chances are likely to be limited.

Magilton is talking to three players next week whose contracts expire in the summer - Fabian Wilnis, Jaime Peters and Ian Miller.

Wilnis, who will be 37 in August, has already confirmed that he wants to continue playing for Town next season, and Magilton said:

“The fact that he has kept Dan Harding out of the side speaks volumes and we will see his agent next week and see what he is looking for.

“If other offers come in then we won't stand in his way but ideally we would want him to stay.”

Wilnis initially signed for the Blues from De Graafschap in a £200,000 deal midway through the 1998-1999 season, and was the Supporters' Player Of The Year last year.

Magilton is ready to help Peters' bid for an employment visa by offering him a new deal.

The Canadian, 19, has convinced Magilton and the Town coaching staff he is worth a new contract and the Blues are hoping his 36 appearances and three goals, along with his continued progress in the national squads, will be enough to convince the FA and the Home Office that he should be granted the necessary paperwork for him to stay as a player in England.

Magilton said: “We are holding contact talks with Jaime and his representative next week and offer him a deal. Jaime has got better as the season has gone on and has shown that he has a future here. We think he is going to get even better and deserves a new contract.”

Miller, 22, is set to be offered a minimum two-year contract with Magilton saying: “I like to put players on a one-year contract, but Ian has earned the right to the extra security.

“I am sure he is level-headed and sensible enough to know that he still has a long way to go and a lot to learn and not become complacent. Ian has impressed and is someone I can see only getting better.”

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