Miller celebrates double call-up

SCOTLAND international-in-waiting Tommy Miller is set to celebrate his call-up by starting for Ipswich at Nottingham Forest tomorrow.Skipper Jim Magilton is rapidly losing his fitness battle and boss Joe Royle conceded today: "His chances are next to nil.

SCOTLAND international-in-waiting Tommy Miller is set to celebrate his call-up by starting for Ipswich at Nottingham Forest tomorrow.

Skipper Jim Magilton is rapidly losing his fitness battle and boss Joe Royle conceded today: "His chances are next to nil. He's more like 5-95 against than 50-50."

Magilton suffered a foot injury in Saturday's 3-2 First Division win at Cardiff that forced him to hobble off after just 28 minutes, Miller replacing him and opening the scoring from the penalty spot very soon afterwards.

Town will give Magilton as much time as possible to recover, but Royle is close to writing off his captain's chances.

He added: "It's very sore and he has a gash on top that is healing, but the real problem is the swelling. He is wearing a pressurised boot to keep it down, but he still has an awful lot to do."

Man of the moment Miller is the obvious replacement at the City Ground, although Royle pointed out: "The squad strength is there for all to see.

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"If Jim is missing – and I'm thinking along those lines at the moment – we will be without a major player. But there are others willing to take his place."

Miller, meanwhile, has been included in a Scotland Future squad to meet their Turkish counterparts at Dundee's Dens Park next week.

Town coach Willie Donachie tipped off his former Scotland colleague Archie Gemmill about the 24-year-old, who was born in Easington but qualifies through his grandmother from Kirkcaldy.

Gemmill spied on Miller earlier this season and the player has forced his way into a squad comprising the Scots' most promising up-and-coming talent.

Royle said: "I'm very pleased for Tommy. This hasn't been his easiest season after he first struggled to find form and then picked up injuries.

"But there have been signs that he is getting back to his best and when he gets to that level it will be like a new player coming on board.

"The Scots are rebuilding and this is an ideal time for them to look at him. They need to get that 6-0 defeat by Holland out of their system and bring in fresh blood."

Alun Armstrong is sure to figure at the City Ground after impressing Royle in training yesterday.

The Town boss said: "Alun is looking so much better now. He reminded me of what he can do and will definitely be included."

Royle isn't kidded by the fact that Forest, beaten in the play-offs last season, are currently 13th after taking just two points from a possible 15 in November.

He said: "I like Forest as a team and have a lot of time for them and the way they play the game.

"They did the double over us last season and that's something we would like to avenge.

"I have a report of Forest's 3-0 home defeat by West Brom and it says the scoreline was very harsh on them."

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