No guarantee for Forster

IPSWICH comeback star Nicky Forster's latest scoring heroics are not guaranteed to earn him a start against former club Reading at the weekend.Forster, 32, followed up his match-winning return to action against Crewe ten days ago with a stunning hat-trick in last night's 5-3 reserve win over Southampton at Portman Road.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH comeback star Nicky Forster's latest scoring heroics are not guaranteed to earn him a start against former club Reading at the weekend.

Forster, 32, followed up his match-winning return to action against Crewe ten days ago with a stunning hat-trick in last night's 5-3 reserve win over Southampton at Portman Road.

But Town boss Joe Royle said today: “I have some big decisions to make over the next few days with regard to our front men and one of them is whether to start with Nicky at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.

“I know he will be desperate to play and I'm not saying he won't start, just that I want to make sure he is up to it.

“I will be speaking to Nicky and our medical people to assess the situation. I need to look long and hard at what's right and at the moment there is still a big question mark over our attacking options.”

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Top scorer Sam Parkin has recovered from the lower back strain that forced him off at half-time against Crewe and is due to resume training today.

Town are also close to resolving the question of Adam Proudlock's availability, with the Football Association expected to give him the green light today to resume his career with Ipswich.

Royle is not ruling out the possibility of the 24-year-old striker, sacked by Sheffield Wednesday last month after “several breaches” of their code of conduct, being involved at Reading.

He said: “Adam has done well in training but we haven't seen him in a game yet and he wasn't playing for his club before he came here.

“Again, it's something we have to look at. He might be better off staying here to work on his fitness rather than going to Reading, but we have a few days to look at that and decide what's best.”

Because the player appealed against his sacking through his union, the Professional Footballers' Association, he remained on the Owls' payroll until such time as the situation was resolved.

Now the appeal has been dropped and Wednesday have backtracked to sanction a loan deal for the remainder of the season, with Ipswich taking over the player's contract in the same way they did with Shefki Kuqi when he moved from Hillsborough two years ago.

The Football League have approved the deal and Town were expecting the necessary clearance from the FA today.

Royle added: “I am sure Adam will be good for us. He's still young and we are talking about someone who has gone a bit astray, rather than someone who has lost it.

“Everyone deserves a second chance and I hope Adam takes it. A lot of work has been done with the PFA and Sheffield Wednesday, and I'm delighted we are now very close to resolving the situation.”

Proudlock was appearing in court in Telford today on a drink-driving charge and Royle added: “Adam knows this is his last chance. He will get all the help and encouragement he needs but it is down to him and I'm sure he is well aware of that.

“I have spoken to people about him and no one has said a bad word about him. He has worked hard since he has been with us and earned a contract.

“As far as I'm concerned he is a good player who has a good record of goals per starts. He is quick, strong and can score goals. I remember him when he played for Wolves and I know he is a good player.”

Town's game at Reading on Sunday kicks off at 1.30pm and is being screened live on Sky Sports 1.

Joe Royle and his Norwich counterpart, Nigel Worthington, took part in a question and answer session in Norwich last night that was organised by the League Managers' Association on behalf of sponsors and their guests.

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