Swans fans snub cup tie

SWANSEA'S FA Cup fourth round tie at Ipswich has failed to capture the imagination of their supporters.Saturday's game is considered a second-rate attraction compared to the League One club's successful trip to Premiership outfit Sheffield United in the third round earlier this month.

By Mel Henderson

SWANSEA'S FA Cup fourth round tie at Ipswich has failed to capture the imagination of their supporters.

Saturday's game is considered a second-rate attraction compared to the League One club's successful trip to Premiership outfit Sheffield United in the third round earlier this month.

The Swans were cheered on to a 3-0 giant-killing act at Bramall Lane by more than 4,500 fans - but they could be backed by just half that number at Portman Road in three days' time.

The Welsh club have been allocated 4,362 seats for Saturday's showdown but have so far sold less than 50 per cent of them.

A Swansea source said: “The long and short of it is that the locals don't see this as a particularly glamorous tie.

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“The game at Sheffield was different. It was a chance to take on a Premiership club and the fans were up for it every bit as much as the players showed they were.

“There was no great excitement when the fourth round draw was made. It was a bit of an anti climax because the supporters were looking for a home tie or a trip to play one of the big boys.

“The distance to Ipswich is probably another factor. Swansea fans have to travel 80 miles before they reach Bristol so it's a long-haul trip for them.

“Having said that, however, they will still have a decent travelling support at the weekend.

“There aren't many League One clubs who would bring as many fans.”

Swansea boss Kenny Jackett and his players only started thinking about the cross-country trip to Ipswich after last night's home league clash with Gillingham.

A 2-0 triumph saw them leap into sixth spot and revive their promotion hopes after they had managed just three wins from their previous nine league games.

Meanwhile, the Swans have reluctantly agreed to a transfer request from defender Izzy Iriekpen, who is frustrated at his lack of first team opportunities at the Liberty Stadium.

Ironically, the former West Ham trainee was expected to play at Portman Road as a replacement for Kevin Austin, who must now miss the match after collecting five yellow cards.

Now, depending on how much interest there is in the player and whether clubs are prepared to meet Swansea's asking price, he could be on the move before the transfer window closes in a week's time.

The Welshmen have moved quickly to replace £300,000 striker Rory Fallon, who moved to Plymouth this week, by spending half as much to capture Pawel Abbott from Huddersfield.

Former Poland Under-21 cap Abbott is eligible for Saturday's game against Ipswich after he was an unused substitute for the Terriers' first round KO by Blackpool back in November.

Swansea, who covered much of their outlay on Abbott by selling Leon Knight to MK Dons, have been boosted by the return to fitness of skipper Darren Pratley.

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