Mahon makes remarkable recovery for Town

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle includes Alan Mahon in his reserve side tonight after what he describes as a "remarkable turnaround".And the Republic of Ireland international left winger could make his long-awaited Nationwide League return against weekend hosts Cardiff – just 24 hours after Royle ruled him out of his starting line-up for the visit to Ninian Park.

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle includes Alan Mahon in his reserve side tonight after what he describes as a "remarkable turnaround".

And the Republic of Ireland international left winger could make his long-awaited Nationwide League return against weekend hosts Cardiff – just 24 hours after Royle ruled him out of his starting line-up for the visit to Ninian Park.

Mahon resumed training on Monday following a week's lay-off with a virus.

Royle said: "He looked awful – he looked as if he had malaria. He had a terrible morning in training.

"Alan looked so ill again that I almost sent him back home to bed."

Today, however, Royle reported that the on-loan Blackburn man is much better and will start tonight's reserve team clash with visiting Chelsea at Portman Road (7pm).

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Mahon has had a five-game absence from the first team since tearing a hamstring in the televised 1-0 home win over Stoke on October 18.

A successful comeback tonight will put him in line for a return to the senior squad that visits Cardiff for Saturday's First Division promotion clash.

Central defender John McGreal, the experienced rearguard man who has been back on the senior bench after nine months of injury worry, also has what could be a vitally-important game tonight.

Georges Santos is rated as no more than a 50-50 chance for the trip to Cardiff after he sustained a badly-bruised foot in last Saturday's 3-0 home win over Sheffield United at Portman Road.

Royle said: "As it looks right now there is a possibility that John may be needed to start against Cardiff."

Left midfield man Ian Westlake, a scorer against the Blades, has been out of training after suffering a knock to his thigh in that match.

Not ready for more second team action is Martijn Reuser, the Dutch midfielder who has just got back to the first team bench again after a groin injury.

Reuser pulled out of training yesterday with a further groin worry.

Striker Alun Armstrong is back in the reserve side after another bout of back trouble.

Meanwhile, Royle is continuing talks with Sheffield Wednesday to try to tie up a deal for on-loan striker Shefki Kuqi. Wednesday are asking what Royle describes as a nominal fee for the front man.

The reserve squad tonight is: Price, Hogg, Barron, McGreal, Collins, Mitchell, Mahon, Miller, Abidallah, Bowditch, Armstrong, Morrow, Supple, Flack, Krause, Craig.

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