Rams inspire us says Williams

IPSWICH comeback star Gavin Williams looks no further than tonight's opponents for inspiration.It is not just the fact that Derby have won their last five games that convinces the former West Ham midfielder that Town can still achieve a lot from the current campaign.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH comeback star Gavin Williams looks no further than tonight's opponents for inspiration.

It is not just the fact that Derby have won their last five games that convinces the former West Ham midfielder that Town can still achieve a lot from the current campaign.

Williams, in the squad for tonight's visit to Pride Park after a 45-minute appearance and goal at Needham Market last night, is more impressed by the Rams' steady surge up the Championship table.


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He said: “A few games into the season they were second bottom and we were several places higher, but thanks to a decent run they have climbed to fifth and probably believe they can win automatic promotion.

“If we can do what they have done - and we have shown at times that we can beat anyone in this league - we could still have a great season.”

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But 26-year-old Williams admits Ipswich must find the same sort of consistency as Derby have achieved if they are going to have something to shout about come May.

Town's inability to string together a run of wins has cost them valuable ground in the promotion race and defeat tonight would leave them nine points adrift of a top six slot.

Williams' availability after groin surgery is a major boost, especially as French midfielder Sylvain Legwinski will be missing through suspension.

Manager Jim Magilton has confirmed that 18-year-old Owen Garvan will make his first start of the season after a summer bout of shingles later saw him diagnosed as suffering from post viral fatigue syndrome.

Both player and club have had to be patient and to have players of the quality of Garvan and Williams ready to call upon increases Magilton's midfield options.

Before his injury Williams was arguably Town's most impressive performer and he added: “After a little run at Barnsley and a bit more at Needham I am looking forward to tonight's game.

“It has been very frustrating the past seven weeks. I had hoped to be back in five but you can't afford to rush things and suffer another setback.

“I've had a little bit of soreness, which is to be expected, but hopefully that's the last injury I have for a while. It's been a bit of a nightmare for a while now.

“Barnsley was disappointing - probably our worst display of the season - but we have to forget it now and concentrate on the games to come.”

Town are hoping that teenage striker Billy Clarke will be fit to return after missing the trip to Barnsley with an ankle injury.

Fabian Wilnis, favourite to recapture the right-back berth after on-loan Middlesbrough star Matthew Bates damaged knee ligaments at Oakwell, is out and Sito takes his place.

SQUADS

DERBY: Bywater, Edworthy, Leacock, M Johnson, Boertien, Oakley, S Johnson, Jones, Barnes, Howard, Stead, Moore, Bisgaard, Lupoli, Smith, Jackson and Camara.

IPSWICH: Price, Sito, Bruce, De Vos, Harding, Williams, Roberts, Garvan, Walton, Richards, Lee, Macken, Naylor, Clarke, Haynes, Peters and Supple.

Referee: Ray Lee (Brentwood).

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