Tommy's feeling down in the mouth

BRACED for action Ipswich star Tommy Miller could be forgiven for feeling down in the mouth.The 24-year-old midfielder has been missing from first team action for six weeks with a knee injury and will be absent again at Bradford tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

By Mel Henderson

BRACED for action Ipswich star Tommy Miller could be forgiven for feeling down in the mouth.

The 24-year-old midfielder has been missing from first team action for six weeks with a knee injury and will be absent again at Bradford tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

But Miller is so keen to return and reclaim his first team place that he has postponed surgery on his jaw until next summer.


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He revealed: "It goes back to my time with Hartlepool. I got carried off after taking a kick in the face that left me with a broken nose.

"They also discovered that my jaw alignment wasn't right and that has caused me a few problems.

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"I've had to visit the dentist a few times and it seems I won't be 100 per cent until I have the operation.

"But the last thing I need at the moment is to be sidelined again, so I've put it off until the summer."

Miller has a comeback firmly in his sights after successfully

negotiating a 45-minute reserve

appearance on Wednesday.

He added: "I was a couple of yards off the pace – certainly not man of the match material – but the main thing is that I had no real

reaction.

"I've trained with the squad since then and all I've felt is a little twinge now and again, but I can put up with 20 seconds of sharp pain. The physios have said it's nothing to worry about and that it's to be expected.

"Now I just need to carry on training and build up my fitness. When you've been out of action for six weeks it catches up with you.

"I've been doing some work with fitness coach Simon Thadani, nothing makes up for not playing. That's the only way I'll get match fit."

Tuesday's home clash with Burnley will probably be too soon for Miller, but regardless of when he receives the all-clear to resume he believes the club physios will be glad to see the back of him.

He laughed: "I've been driving them up the wall. After a while, when you're not playing, you get sick of it and your frustration boils over.

"All I want is to be back playing again. The lads have been doing well recently and when you look at the league table there's not much in it.

"We're in much better shape all round than we were at the start of the season. We're getting goals now, but back then we weren't looking as if we would score."

Manager Joe Royle has challenged his players to cash in on the fact that so many of their First Division rivals are out of action tomorrow due to international commitments.

He said: "We have a chance to push into the top half of the table, which would be a welcome change from all the doom and gloom of a few weeks ago."

French defender Georges Santos limped out of training yesterday with a slight groin strain and Academy youngster Scott Mitchell has been added to the party.

THE SQUADS

BRADFORD: Beresford, Edds, Gavin, Wetherall, Heckingbottom, Summerbee, Francis, Evans, Muirhead, Gray, Branch, Cornwall, Emanuel, McHugh, Kearney, Wolleaston, Combe.

IPSWICH: Davis, Wilnis, Naylor, Santos, Richards, Wright, Bart-Williams, Magilton, Mahon, Counago, Kuqi, Armstrong, Westlake, Nash, Bowditch, Mitchell, Price.

Referee: Graham Laws (Tyne & Wear).

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