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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Wark gives Gordon the thumbs up

PUBLISHED: 13:58 24 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:43 03 March 2010

IPSWICH legend John Wark is tipping Gordon Strachan to succeed at Southampton.

But Wark, one of Town's all-time greats, is hoping the Saints' revival will remain on hold until after the teams clash tonight.

IPSWICH legend John Wark is tipping Gordon Strachan to succeed at Southampton.

But Wark, one of Town's all-time greats, is hoping the Saints' revival will remain on hold until after the teams clash tonight.

He said: "I know Gordon and he's just the man to give Southampton a lift. He will get them going and his influence will be felt right from the start.

"You always seem to get an immediate improvement when there's a change at the top and Gordon's the type who will get the best out of the players."

Wark, currently working as a match-day hospitality host at Portman Road, is keeping his fingers crossed for Ipswich's first away win of the season.

But he warned: "It is going to be more difficult now that Southampton have opted to change their manager. Gordon will really be up for it and he'll make sure the players are as well.

"I like Gordon and I wish him well, but I can't agree with the decision to sack Stuart Gray. To do it just eight league games into the season is a joke."

It was Strachan who appointed his former Scotland international colleague as chief scout at Coventry, with the axe falling on Wark following the Sky Blues' relegation from the Premiership.

Strachan followed him out of Highfield Road following a disappointing start in the First Division and Wark added: "He is the best man for this job.

"In one way I was surprised that he took it, but in another I don't suppose he could turn it down. He is so passionate and it will rub off on the players."

Meanwhile, Strachan has paid tribute to opposite number George Burley in the build-up to tonight's key fixture, which marks Town's first visit to Saints' new stadium.

He said: "George and I were in the Scotland team together and he is a lovely man. He has gone about his job at Ipswich in the right way.

"I watched them a couple of times when I was out of the game and they are not scoring as many goals as they would like. Our job is to make sure that continues."

Town, already minus Titus Bramble and Finidi George, also have a slight doubt over Jim Magilton, who suffered an ankle knock in training, although he is expected to be fit.

SQUADS

SOUTHAMPTON: Jones, Dodd, Petrescu, Lundekvam, El Khalej, Bridge, Davies, Oakley, Marsden, Draper, Delap, Ripley, Tessem, Beattie, Pahars, Svensson, Moss, Monk, McDonald.

IPSWICH: Sereni, Makin, Wilnis, McGreal, Venus, Hreidarsson, Wright, Peralta, Holland, Reuser, Clapham, Armstrong, Stewart, Branagan, Gaardsoe, Magilton, Counago, Naylor, T Miller, Marshall.

REFEREE: Mr Uriah Rennie (Sheffield).

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