Westy: Less pressure on us

IAN Westlake believes Ipswich Town have an advantage over promotion rivals Wigan going into the last game of the regular Championship season.The influential Blues midfield player today insisted: “Being away from home will be a plus for us.

IAN Westlake believes Ipswich Town have an advantage over promotion rivals Wigan going into the last game of the regular Championship season.

The influential Blues midfield player today insisted: “Being away from home will be a plus for us.”

Town travel to the south coast to play relegation-haunted Brighton on Sunday, while at the same time Wigan are at home to play-off seeking Reading.

After last weekend's results, the unfashionable Lancashire club lead Joe Royle's Suffolk side on goal difference and are in pole position to accompany

champions Sunderland to the Premiership via the

automatic route - condemning Westlake and Co to the play-offs.

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But Westlake said: “Most people think Wigan have the advantage over us because they are home.

“I am not so sure. It might well work the other way round.

“There will be less pressure on us. Sometimes it can be quite tense in front of your own expectant fans.

“There is tension in the ground and this rubs off on the players.

“There are whispers going round with scores from elsewhere and it does not help having to worry about others.

“At Brighton we will just get on with our job.

“It will be a very exciting, tense afternoon, and Reading need the points so they will be making it tough for Wigan.

“We know that Brighton will also be very difficult opposition, but we can concentrate on our own game - and then see how it leaves us after the match.”

Meanwhuile, skipper Jim Magilton, the hero of Town's semi-final

victory over Bolton the last time they played in a play-off semi-final, feels the Blues are paying a price for their attacking approach.

He said: “We have provided entertainment all season and I would not have it any other way.

“But we have conceded too many goals than perhaps we should because we only know one way to play.

“This is now going against us as we are behind Wigan only on goal difference.

“We are not out of it by any means though and we still have everything to play for on Sunday.”

Ipswich's vital promotion clash at struggling Brighton on Sunday is to be screened live by Sky Sports.

And the satellite broadcaster will keep viewers right up to date with what is happening at the top of the Championship by simultaneously showing Wigan's key home fixture against Reading on a separate channel.

It is good news, in particular, for those Town fans who had already purchased £10 tickets for the live beamback from Brighton - they will now receive a free pie and pint to go with the electric atmosphere.

The club is showing live coverage of the game at Brighton on large plasma screens in the Legends Bar, the Galleria, the Far Post Bar and the Sir Alf Ramsey Suite.

Meanwhile, Ipswich youngster Darryl Knights was looking to win England Under-17 cap number ten - and score his first goal - against Belarus today in the opening game of the European Champion-ship being staged in Italy.

England meet Turkey on Thursday and take on the hosts on Sunday, with two teams

qualifying from the group for the knockout stages.

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