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Swailes backs Forest slump

PUBLISHED: 20:00 22 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:46 03 March 2010

FORMER Town defender Chris Swailes today said his club could still do Ipswich a big favour.

"If they are still in with a chance of reaching the play-offs before their final game we can beat Nottingham Forest for them – and I think we will," he said.

FORMER Town defender Chris Swailes today said his club could still do Ipswich a big favour.

"If they are still in with a chance of reaching the play-offs before their final game we can beat Nottingham Forest for them – and I think we will," he said.

Forest's win and Wolverhampton's success at Norwich City meant a miserable Easter Monday for Ipswich Town.

Joe Royle's side held a 1-0 lead until the 85th minute on a bumpy Millmoor pitch and then caved in to concede two goals inside two minutes.

Their hopes of ending the season in the top six now depend on winning a home match against Wimbledon this Saturday and then gaining maximum points at Derby on Sunday week.

And to still stand a chance of reaching the Premiership, Town need either Forest or Reading to completely collapse in their final games. Forest travel to Rotherham on the final day.

It's a tall order, but one Swailes said could happen.

"Ipswich outplayed us completely in the first period," he added. "Their pedigree was there for all to see with great passing moves. If they beat Wimbledon and other results go their way, they could still go up.

"We are not easy to beat at home and Forest are a footballing side we can get the better of."

There is nothing unfashionable Rotherham like more than showing that an underdog can have its day. Despite a poor run over the last two months they recently drew at home to Leicester City before this win over Town.

Swailes was released from Ipswich as a youngster, but brought back in his early 20s. He had a run of games for the Portman Road club before losing his place and being transferred again.

Since his arrival at Rotherham he has been enjoying some of the best football of his career and he was one of the Millers' better players yesterday.

The 31-year-old went on: "We did not get out of our own half for almost an hour and found it hard having had 24 hours less than Ipswich to recover from our last match.

"We overcame an error by our goalkeeper to present Ipswich with their goal and battled through our fatigue.

"We are always a danger from corners or throw-ins and this proved the case again."

Pablo Counago scored his 19th goal of the season when he got ahead of keeper Ian Gray to head in Martijn Reuser's 31st minute corner.

Royle complained bitterly about the state of the Millmoor pitch and Swailes admitted it was not at its best.

"Rotherham rugby union club also use the pitch and it does get bumpy. It was dry and we wanted it watered.

"But there was a break down in communications. The pitch was a leveller."

Swailes thought the referee was right not to send off Shaun Barker when he brought down Reuser as the Dutchman burst clean through in the 55th minute.

"It was a close one but Paul Hurst had run behind Shaun and was about to cover," said Swailes. "It was not going to lead to a shooting opportunity and Reuser was running away from goal.

"Joe Royle has got confidence running through the Ipswich side – and they could still do it."

With other results not going Ipswich's way yesterday, even three points would have left them with a mountain to climb to reach the play-offs.

But it was the manner of their capitulation in the final 35 minutes of a match that meant so much that was so disappointing.

The money men, so active at Portman Road these days, will now start counting the cost of at least one more year in the Nationwide League.

Unless Swailes comes up trumps, and results go Town's way over the next two weeks, it looks like being an austere close season for Ipswich.


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