Makin's rash move

CHRIS Makin today declared himself fit for a clash with a Preston club he would have played for had it not been for ill health.The Ipswich defender, who is set to face North End at Portman Road tomorrow after a week of back trouble following a two-game ban, revealed: "If things had worked out differently I might have ended up at Deepdale.

By Dave Allard

CHRIS Makin today declared himself fit for a clash with a Preston club he would have played for had it not been for ill health.

The Ipswich defender, who is set to face North End at Portman Road tomorrow after a week of back

trouble following a two-game ban, revealed: "If things had worked out differently I might have ended up at Deepdale."


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"When I was a young lad at Oldham under Joe Royle he let me go to Preston on loan for a month after John Beck came in for me," said Makin.

"A bad bout of shingles ruled me out of any action for them and I spent most of the loan period in bed.

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"At the end of the month at North End I went back to Oldham and my career began to lift off from then on. After a good game for the reserves against Blackpool I was promoted to the first team and made my debut at Boundary Park in a goalless draw with Arsenal."

Now 29-year-old Makin looks forward to being back in action for his Nationwide League First Division promotion-chasers tomorrow hoping to be part of a winning side that takes the unbeaten run to nine contests.

The experienced player, who under Royle has been moved from full-back to be part of a three-man central defence, said: "The suspension period was a bitter blow, but you just have to live with it.

"This week the back trouble has stopped me training a bit, but it's eased off now and I'm OK."

Makin, signed by Royle's predecessor George Burley from Sunderland for £1.4million, continued: "Everyone is buzzing at the moment and it would be great to mark a return to the side with a win. There's so much to go for and the home form is particularly vital."

While Makin is free of his back problem, there is still a major concern over midfield man Jim Magilton whose calf injury is

keeping him on the treatment table.

The former Northern Ireland captain still has a chance of playing but Royle says: "We won't risk him if he's not right."

Craig Brown's Preston come to Suffolk on a bad run, having lost seven out of the last eight.

Five suspensions and batch of injuries have decimated the squad. Loan players could be signed in time to play.

Royle said: "I'm always wary of talking about teams on a bad run. We've just got to make sure that their revival doesn't start at Portman Road. This is a very dangerous game but, at the moment, I'd back us against anyone. You can see the improvement in the lads. They're really full of themselves.

"When I came here at the end of October if someone had told me that in mid-January we'd be four points off the play-off zone then I'd gladly have taken that. I think that whether we make it to the play-offs or not rests with our home form. If we can keep winning at home then we have a chance."

Martijn Reuser is back in the Town squad again against a Preston side that Town held to a goalless draw at Deepdale early in the season.

Suspended for Preston are: Graham Alexander, Chris Lucketti, Dickson Etuhu, Paul McKenna and Mark Rankine.

THE SQUADS

IPSWICH: Marshall, Wilnis, Richards, Makin, Holland, Gaardsoe, Hreidarsson, T Miller, Magilton, Ambrose, Wright, M Bent, D Bent, Counago, Naylor, Reuser, Pullen.

PRESTON: Gould, Moilanen, Mears, Eaton, O'Neil, Murdock, Barry-Murphy, Broomes, Anderson, Skora, Lewis, Cartwright, Bailey, Healy, Abbott, Lynch, O'Neill.

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