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Miller hopes to be third-time lucky

PUBLISHED: 20:00 04 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:42 03 March 2010

TOMMY Miller is hell-bent on hitting the play-offs with Ipswich Town and then making it a case of third time lucky when he gets there.

The 24-year-old Blues midfield goal-grabber was twice a play-off semi-final loser with former club Hartlepool.

TOMMY Miller is hell-bent on hitting the play-offs with Ipswich Town and then making it a case of third time lucky when he gets there.

The 24-year-old Blues midfield goal-grabber was twice a play-off semi-final loser with former club Hartlepool.

Miller will be gunning for Nottingham Forest at Portman Road in the first of what he hopes will be "nine cup finals".

Miller, scorer of Town's opening goal in the crucial 3-1 Nationwide League First Division win at Gillingham last Saturday, said: "The Forest game is a cup final and me and the lads want to make all the five league games after that cup finals too, followed by three play-off matches that will end with us back in the Premiership."

It's an ambitious target for seventh-placed Town as they prepare to face fifth-placed Forest.

Miller said: "We've been on a good unbeaten run and those three points at Gillingham were so vital.

"More and more wins are a must now. The spirit in the camp couldn't be higher and we'll be giving it all we've got."

Miller, who has included two penalties in his eight-goal haul this season, is making light of a broken bone in his hand sustained in training.

He has two fingers strapped together but insisted: "It's nothing. I'm ready for more action. Our club dropped out of the Premier League and then took time to get going.

"Joe Royle has really lifted us and, despite having to lose players, I feel that we're really in a good groove now and are capable of taking it on and on."

Miller suffered Third Division play-off heartbreak on two occasions with Hartlepool.

He explains: "When I was with them we were beaten in two semi-finals against our north-eastern arch rivals Hartlepool and then Blackpool. Last season, after I'd moved here, they were beaten by Cheltenham in the semis.

"Hartlepool look as though they're going up to the Second Division automatically this time and that will be wonderful. I'm dreaming that we can get promotion too. It can happen and we've got to make it happen."

Town have skipper Matt Holland back after missing the Gillingham game due to being away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, but 16-goal top marksman Darren Bent is ruled out due to a hamstring tear.

Central defender Thomas Gaardsoe is a big doubt because of his groin problem.

Manager Joe Royle said today: "He's in the provisional squad and we'll see how he goes today. But Thomas has got to be considered very, very doubtful at this stage."

Experienced striker Alun Armstrong is back in the squad after a broken wrist.

Town will have to be particularly wary of former Blues hotshot David Johnson, a £3 million buy from Portman Road the season before last.

The ex-England B international is looking fresh again after a hamstring injury while Marlon Harewood, once a loanee with Ipswich from Forest, and Darren Huckerby are also on the scene.


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