Reuser to miss Blades clash

FREE-transfer listed Martijn Reuser has been excused squad duty in tomorrow's Ipswich Town FA Cup fourth tie with Sheffield United at Bramall Lane (kick-off 3pm).

By Dave Allard

FREE-transfer listed Martijn Reuser has been excused squad duty in tomorrow's Ipswich Town FA Cup fourth tie with Sheffield United at Bramall Lane (kick-off 3pm).

The 28-year-old Dutch midfielder, who has made one first team appearance as a substitute since a knee operation, will be staying in Suffolk with his expectant wife.

The former Ajax and Vitesse Arnhem player, who can go for free before his contract ends in the


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summer, said of the news: "It came as quite a surprise, but I'm not really thinking about that right now.

"These things happen in football and I will see about that at a later date. I'm more worried about my wife and the baby, which is due any day now."

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Manager Joe Royle said of the decision to free Reuser: "Unfortunately Martijn is a luxury we can't afford."

He went on: "I've spoken to Martijn and he's taken it very professionally. He's one of the highest wage earners in the club and is currently not in the side."

Town go to south Yorkshire looking to make it ten games without defeat against Neil Warnock's third in the First Division Blades.

The Blues, lifted by new boss Royle from low in the table to two points off the play-off zone, face up to a daunting tie with an ex-Blades man ready for action.

Striker Marcus Bent said: "Apart from playing a Premiership side we couldn't have had a tougher tie, but we're really up for getting the right result."

Bent joined United in 1999 from Port Vale and top scored for them in his first season with 20 goals in 46 league games.

Three months into the 1999-2000 campaign Blackburn splashed out £1.3 million to take him to Ewood Park. Town paid £3m for him the November before last.

"I was gutted to leave Sheffield, but look forward to going back," said the former England Under-21 cap who got his fifth Town goal of the season in last Saturday's 3-0 home league win over Preston.

Bent, who has spent a large part of the season out after a knee operation, heaps praise on United's controversial manager Neil Warnock.

He said: "He's fiery, up front and to the point. They're qualities you need to be a good manager. He told me when I was doing well and when I was struggling. I always appreciated his honesty."

THE SQUADS

IPSWICH: Marshall, Wilnis, Richards, Makin, Holland, Gaardsoe, Hreidarsson, T Miller, Magilton, Ambrose, Wright, M Bent, D Bent, Counago, Naylor, Abidallah, Pullen.

SHEFFIELD UNITED: Kenny, Jagielka, Murphy, Page, Quinn, Ndlouv, Brown, McCall, Smith, Mooney, Allison, Kabba, Peschisilido, Ten-Heuvel, Kozluk, De Vogt.

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