Makin winning fitness race

IPSWICH defensive stalwart Chris Makin is optimistic he will be fit for the start of the season – and that the Blues can enjoy a bright campaign.Makin hopes to get back into training tomorrow after a thigh injury.

By Dave Allard

IPSWICH defensive stalwart Chris Makin is optimistic he will be fit for the start of the season – and that the Blues can enjoy a bright campaign.

Makin hopes to get back into training tomorrow after a thigh injury.

He is anxious to be fit for Town's Nationwide League Division One curtain-raiser against Reading at Portman Road on Saturday.

And Makin is confident Joe Royle's men can be successful.

The 30-year-old former Sunderland man skippered the Town side in a 3-0 friendly win at Colchester nine days ago, with newly-appointed club captain Jim Magilton starting on the substitutes' bench.

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Makin sustained his injury in training last Monday and missed Friday night's 1-1 home draw with Levski Sofia of Bulgaria as the Blues wound up their senior pre-season schedule.

Matt Richards came in at left-back.

Versatile rearguard man Makin said today: "I've had plenty of pre-season action and my general fitness is okay.

"I took a fitness test on Friday ahead of the Sofia game, but the thigh problem is such that I couldn't kick through the ball without feeling discomfort.

"I'll have some more treatment today and hopefully pick up the training again tomorrow."

This experienced player, once a part of a Sunderland side promoted to the Premiership, would dearly love to hit the highest level again in Town colours.

He said: "I'm looking forward to the season as much as any before. We've got some good new players. I'm confident we can give it a real crack, starting against Reading at our place on Saturday."

Manager Joe Royle, who first signed Makin as a schoolboy for Oldham, said: "Chris is a vital part of our team. We hope this thigh problem clears up and that he will be fit to face Reading."

Georges Santos, the new deep midfield man or centre-half finished the Sofia match with a slight calf injury. He is not a concern for the Reading match.

John McGreal, the experienced defender who has been toiling with a knee problem since last December, got in more action on Saturday as the reserves drew 4-4 at Bury Town.

He is likely to play again in another second team fixture at Sudbury tomorrow night.