We can beat anyone, says Burley

IPSWICH Town boss George Burley has fired a "we can beat anyone" boost to his players ahead of tomorrow's clash with Everton at Portman Road.

By Dave Allard

IPSWICH Town boss George Burley today fired a "we can beat anyone" boost to his players ahead of tomorrow's clash with Everton at Portman Road.

The home side face visitors who led the division at one stage this season and who thrashed West Ham at home 5-0 in their last Premiership game.

In contrast, last season's fifth place UEFA Cup qualifying Town have won just once in the league all season and were beaten 2-1 at home by Leeds the Sunday before last.

But Burley's utmost faith in his squad is emphasised by the words: "Everton have shown they are capable of beating anyone, but so are we.

"It will be a hard game, but it is one we can win. We beat Everton twice last season. We played well for most of the game against Leeds and have every reason to feel confidence in ourselves.

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"The Premiership is so highly competitive and Everton are a side with strength in depth, but we are well capable of getting a good result from a good performance."

Burley, whose team won 3-2 at Crewe on Tuesday night to reach the fourth round of the Worthington Cup, went on: "I believe that if we keep performing well the results will come. The biggest disappointment is that we haven't defended properly. We are still awaiting a first clean sheet. It's an area in which we have to be better."

England Under-21 central defender Titus Bramble is again ruled out with his Achilles tendon trouble.

There are three players who are slight doubts. They are striker Alun Armstrong (back), plus defenders John McGreal (back) and Mark Venus (Achilles).

Everton manager Walter Smith has booked his team into the Stoke-by-Nayland golf club hotel. They will train today at the ground of Jewson League Cornard United.

Cornard manager Chris Symes is a friend of Everton coach Archie Knox.

The Merseysider's big target man striker Duncan Ferguson missed the big win over the Hammers due to injury, but is fit again and could be on the bench.

The midfield pair of Paul Gascoigne and Scott Gemmill are ruled out.

The squads

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

EVERTON: Gerard, Watson, Xavier, Weir, Pistone, Alexandersson, Gravesen, Pembridge, Naysmith, Ferguson, Campbell, Radzinski, Tal, Moore, Stubbs, Hibbert, Unsworth, Simonsen.

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