'We can do it' - Town chief

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks issued a "We can do it" rallying cry to Blues fans last night as the club's promotion dreams came down to the play-offs yet again.

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks issued a "We can do it" rallying cry to Blues fans last night as the club's promotion dreams came down to the play-offs yet again.

Hopes of automatic promotion to the Premiership faded fast yesterday as rivals Wigan Athletic beat Reading 3-1 – leaving Town, who drew 1-1 with Brighton, unable to take second place in the Championship.

But last night, as the club faced a repeat of last year's play-off semi-final against West Ham United, Mr Sheepshanks said: "I really believe in my heart of hearts we can do it.

"We have the players, the manager, the staff and the fans to do it and I really hope we can be worthy winners."


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The first leg of the game will be away at Upton Park on Saturday, with the return at Portman Road the following Wednesday, May 18. The final will be at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Monday, May 30.

Promotion to English football's top flight would be worth in the region of £50million to the local economy.

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It is the sixth time in ten years Ipswich have been involved the play-offs, and Mr Sheepshanks said: "There is no point other than to be 100% positive about the process. It time to fall in love with the play-offs. We have to be positive."

He added: "Seasons are not won and lost on one game it is about 46 games. We have finished third by rights and we need to make that count."

Speaking about the disappointment of not securing automatic promotion, he said: "Every one of us is disappointed, we are human beings. We all woke up on the morning thinking 'might this be our day' but it was not to be."

But he said: "It will be nice to win in front of 30,000 of our own fans instead of 700."

Ipswich Town met West Ham in last year's play-off semi-finals, winning the first leg 1-0 through a Darren Bent strike, but losing 2-0 in the return at Upton Park.

"We need to go to Upton Park and be professional and get a good result their first.

"I would hesitate to use the word revenge but they did put us out in a close encounter last year and it is time to turn the tables.

"We will have the advantage of a night-time kick off with a big atmosphere at Portman Road on Wednesday week," the Town chairman said.

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