Abidallah could face United

NABIL Abidallah could be facing Manchester United next week after joining Northampton Town on a month's loan.The skilful little Dutchman could even be in line for a trip to the Millennium Stadium with Northampton, who face Colchester United in the southern-section semi-final of the LDV Vans competition on Tuesday – the winners are just one game away from the Cardiff final.

NABIL Abidallah could be facing Manchester United next week after joining Northampton Town on a month's loan, writes Derek Davis.

The skilful little Dutchman could even be in line for a trip to the Millennium Stadium with Northampton, who face Colchester United in the southern-section semi-final of the LDV Vans competition on Tuesday – the winners are just one game away from the Cardiff final.

Abidallah joined Ipswich from Ajax in the summer of 2000 but has not really established himself in the first team, although he has impressed in the reserves.

Blues boss Joe Royle last night confirmed Abidallah had been allowed to go. He said: "It is a good opportunity for Nabil. We have cleared him to play in the FA Cup should he be required."


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Just as Royle gets a bit of good news in that Matt Richards came through training okay, he loses Martijn Reuser to a stomach bug. Richards has been struggling with a hamstring after the draw at Reading on Saturday but suffered no ill-effects yesterday and is expected to take his place against Crewe Alexandra tomorrow.

With Fabian Wilnis suspended, Royle is short of full-backs until long-term casualty Chris Makin returns next month.

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There were hopes that 18-year-old Scott Barron may step up but he suffered a kick in training on Tuesday and has not trained since. Instead Scott Mitchell is in with a chance of being included, and he could also be used as a right-back.

Although Reuser will be given every opportunity, the Dutchman fell ill twice this week with the bug and is unlikely to regain his strength in time.

Better news though is Drissa Diallo got through the reserves' defeat at Wimbledon on his 31st birthday without any problems and has returned to the squad.

Darren Bent is definitely out and even though Ipswich are the top scorers in Division One, the Blues boss is concerned his team are losing their cutting edge.

He said: "I'm unhappy with our goal threat but it was only a couple of weeks ago we got three against Derby.

"But we have looked a little toothless recently. So if I can find the right player, although not necessarily a front player, although I would not rule one out, I will bring them in. But he has to have an impact on the squad whether it is someone who is a terrific supplier of chances or someone who is a terrific taker of chances.

"I have made phone calls about a couple of players but neither will be here by Saturday. If we were to get either one they would make a big impact."

Andy Marshall will be on the bench as back-up to Kelvin Davis with Nathan Abbey set to join Division One rivals Burnley, with Macclesfield also showing an interest.

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