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Young Josh set to retain place at Walsall

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 December 2012

Josh Thompson

Josh Thompson

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MAGNUS Okuonghae is available again, after serving his one-match suspension, but he faces a tough battle to regain his place in the Colchester United starting XI.

Josh Thompson, his replacement at Bournemouth, produced such an impressive full debut for the U’s, despite the defeat, that he would be very unlucky to lose his place at Walsall on Saturday.

In fact, the odds must be on manager Joe Dunne sticking with Thompson against fellow strugglers Walsall.

The 21-year-old Portsmouth loanee was man-of-the-match at Dean Court, in a 1-0 defeat, and seemed to hit if off with fellow 21-year-old Tom Eastman in the heart of defence.

Thompson explained: “You just have to go when you get your chance, and hope that you’ve done enough, but in the end it is down to the manager to pick the team.

“It’s good competition for places, everyone gets on well in training, but we all know that there is more than one player for each position.

“I was impressed with everyone’s performance at Bournemouth, especially their attitude, because a lot of teams could have gone there after losing a few, and just caved in.

“We had suffered a few bad defeats recently, but we showed the courage not to feel down, after all the criticism of us shipping goals.

“A lot of teams might have gone into hiding, but not us.

“We’re going to fight and turn it around.”

With reference to his centre-half partner Eastman, Thompson continued: “I’m with Tom six days a week, we all train with each other, so although it was our first start together, we’ve worked a lot alongside each other. There is that partnership already.

“Tom is a good player, and I think he will help me get better.”

In addition to Okuonghae, former Brentford midfielder Marcus Bean will also be available again this weekend, after completing his one-match ban.

Gavin Massey still has one game left of his three-match suspension.

Meanwhile, a very experienced U’s side romped to an 8-0 win over Brentwood Town in last night’s Essex Senior Cup fourth round tie.

Clinton Morrison and John-Joe O’Toole gave the U’s a 2-0 lead at half-time, and there were second-half goals from Brian Wilson, Karl Duguid, Freddie Ladapo (2), Drey Wright and a second for O’Toole.

Ipswich Town take on Bolton Wanderers in a Championship match at The Macron Stadium this afternoon (3pm). STUART WATSON previews the action.

We have assembled a group of Town fans to predict the outcome of Ipswich games and have their say on what’s going on at Portman Road.

Dominic Iorfa knows the best way to respond to criticism from the stands is by proving his worth to the Ipswich Town supporters on the pitch.

Ipswich Town have confirmed the signing of midfielder Stephen Gleeson on a free transfer from Championship rivals Birmingham City.

Mike Bacon takes at look at how the Video Assistant Referee is working in football as asks, is there too much technology in the game now?

Ipswich Town have signed defender Cameron Carter-Vickers on loan from Tottenham until the end of the season.

In this week’s nostalgia we take a look back to December 2012, when Dougie Freedman suffered his first defeat as Bolton manager as Michael Chopra grabbed a last-minute winner for Ipswich at the Reebok Stadium.

Ipswich Town take on Bolton Wanderers in a Championship game at The Macron Stadium tomorrow. STUART WATSON previews the action.

Ipswich Town will announce the loan signing of Birmingham City midfielder Stephen Gleeson tomorrow morning.

Bundesliga side Werder Bremen are said to be one of a number of clubs considering a January bid for Ipswich Town loanee Bersant Celina, according to reports.

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