Jim expected to play with one striker

IF Jim Magilton stays, as expected, with his single striker away policy at Hull City tonight, he will be taking a considerable gamble.Ipswich have failed to score a goal in their last seven away games - and taken just one point.

By Elvin King

IF Jim Magilton stays, as expected, with his single striker away policy at Hull City tonight, he will be taking a considerable gamble.

Ipswich have failed to score a goal in their last seven away games - and taken just one point.

Magilton says they were unlucky to lose in the FA Cup at Watford, and had good opportunities to win the game at Southampton on the last away trip.

Alan Lee and Jonathan Walters both found the net against QPR at Portman Road on Saturday, but neither are certain starters tonight.

“Alan sometimes finds it a problem to play three games in a week,” said Magilton. “And Jonathan complained of a tight hamstring after Saturday's match.”

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It could be that the pressure in scoring will be placed on on-loan Francis Jeffers with Magilton adding: “Franny is here for a month and we want to see him play.”

A win for Town at relegation-haunted Hull will lift them to virtual safety - with a home match against second-bottom Southend to follow on Saturday.

Walters, who gave another promising display against Rangers, is keen to face his former club tonight.

He said: “Hull will always hold fond memories for me. It sounds stupid but it was the best time and worst time.

“The club really looked after me when everything was happening with my daughter Scarlet. She was in hospital and it was touch and go for a while.

“I always hoped that I'd get the chance to come back and play at the KC.

“I'm not sure what kind of reception I'll get but to be honest it doesn't matter too much because nothing would ever change my opinion of the club and everyone involved with it.

“Of course, I want us to win tonight but after that I would like to see Hull do well.

“Phil Brown was one of my coaches when I was at Bolton and I am sure he will do a very good job at Hull.”

Walters left the Tigers just over 18 months ago to be closer to his family in the Wirral when his daughter was seriously ill. She is fully recovered now.

During an initial loan spell at Hull, Walters scored five goals in 11 games, and as full-time player he netted three times in 11 starts and 33 substitute appearances.

The 23-year-old signed for Wrexham and then Chester before joining Town in the transfer window.

Nick Barmby is in the Hull squad after an ankle ligament injury, and full-back Andy Dawson is back after missing the last two matches. Michael Bridges is banned and Sam Collins (knee), and Stephen McPhee (hamstring), are long-term absentees.

Nicky Forster sold to Hull by Ipswich for £250,000 last autumn has been starting of late and has scored three goals in 26 appearances. Also in the Hull side are former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour and veteran ex-Bradford man Dean Windass.

Hull have lost five of their last seven games with defender Danny Coles saying: “You cannot afford to defend badly in this division.

“It is vital that we put Saturday's Coventry defeat behind us and go into the Ipswich match full of confidence again. It is a very big game for us.”

Tonight's squads

Hull City: Myhill, Ricketts, Turner, Coles, Delaney, Parlour, Ashbee, Livermore, Forster, Windass, Elliott, Parkin, Welsh, Marney, Duke, Doyle, Barmby, Dawson.

Ipswich Town: Price, Supple, Wright, Bruce, De Vos, Harding, Peters, Legwinski, O'Callaghan, Garvan, Roberts, Jeffers, Lee, Walters, Clarke, Haynes, Richards, Sito, Casement.

Referee: Mr G Salisbury (Lancashire).

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