Town to field a strong reserve side

IPSWICH will field a strong reserve side, containing several players with first team experience, against West Ham at Portman Road tonight (kick-off 7pm).

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH will field a strong reserve side, containing several players with first team experience, against West Ham at Portman Road tonight (kick-off 7pm).

Goalkeeper Lewis Price, midfielder Kevin Horlock and striker Dean Bowditch are all set to start, as is fit-again Adam Proudlock, who is keen to make up for lost time after being plagued by knee trouble.

A fleeting substitute appearance at Stoke aside, the 24-year-old former Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday player has been sidelined and unable to press his claims for a contract beyond the end of the current campaign.

Boss Joe Royle said: “Hopefully, Adam will be able to make a big contribution during what is left of the season. I imagine he will be looking to give me a big nudge in the coming months.”

With Bowditch's request to go out on loan before the end of the January transfer window having been granted by Royle, there are sure to be a number of scouts in attendance this evening.

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Blackpool and Gillingham have already been linked with the 19-year-old, but he will be hoping that another Champ-ionship outfit are sufficiently impressed to ensure he does not have to drop down a level.

Dean McDonald will also be under scrutiny after Ipswich rejected a £75,000 offer from Hartlepool for the ex-Arsenal youngster following his five-game loan spell in the north east.

With Horlock already aware he will not be offered a new contract in the summer and knowing he is free to leave in the next week if he wishes, his availability will have alerted several clubs.

Norwegian midfielder Vemund Brekke Skard will be playing his second reserve game as he bids to force his way into the senior reckoning.

Ipswich Reserves (from): Price, Moore, Casement, Mitchell, Ainsley, Peters, Horlock, Skard, McDonald, Bowditch, Proudlock, Knights, Trotter, Short and Lordan.

Tickets for Ipswich Town's match away to Norwich City on Sunday, February 5, have now sold out. Around 2,400 Town fans will be in a capacity crowd for the 11.15am kick-off. The game is also live on Sky Sports.

The reserve games against Coventry on February 1 and Crystal Palace on February 15 are scheduled to be played at Needham Market but may be moved back to Portman Road. A final decision will be made nearer the time.

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