All go for Scow

EXCLUSIVEBLUES boss Joe Royle will make it third time lucky today by signing James Scowcroft on a season-long loan.The deal was struck last night after Craig Levein agreed to allow Scowcroft to join Ipswich and the former Blues favourite jumped at the chance.

EXCLUSIVE

BLUES boss Joe Royle will make it third time lucky today by signing James Scowcroft on a season-long loan.

The deal was struck last night after Craig Levein agreed to allow Scowcroft to join Ipswich and the former Blues favourite jumped at the chance.

After being knocked back by Micky Adams last summer and then new Leicester City boss Levein in October, the persistent Royle made the former Blues favourite his No. 1 target to cover for stricken Shefki Kuqi.


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The Finland striker is out for at least a month after a deep gash caused accidentally by Dion Dublin's studs that cut into a quadricep muscle.

Royle last night confirmed: “There is more damage than we initially thought and there is damage to a muscle. Instead of being out for up to a month it will now be a minimum of a month.”

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Although there were a number of options within the squad, Royle was keen to bring in a loan player to partner Darren Bent.

The EADT understands the Town board gave its approval for Royle to make moves for a couple of players, with Scowcroft a unanimous No. 1 choice.

Royle last night confirmed he had finally got his man. He said: “With Shefki's injury worse than we first thought, we knew we had to bring in someone and I spoke to Craig Levein after Saturday's game and realised there was a possibility of getting James. We talked again on Sunday and he has allowed James to join us and the player agreed and will train with the squad and be with us until the end of the season.

“I am delighted to get James at last. It's taken a while but we finally got there.”

Scowcroft's contract at the Walkers Stadium expires in the summer and Ipswich will look at taking him on permanently after this season has finished.

He was given a rapturous reception by Town fans in Ipswich's 2-1 victory and has made no secret of his love for the club.

Although he started for the Foxes, it has been made clear to him that he is no longer first choice up front, with Mark de Vries talking his place.

Another product of Town's youth system, the 29-year-old from Bury St Edmunds was delighted with the welcome by Town supporters

He said: “The fans' reaction to me was great. I was at the club for a while and people obviously appreciated that and it meant a lot to me.”

Scowcroft, who has won promotion with both Town and City, felt the Foxes should have had a draw against a below-par Ipswich but he insists the Blues will go up.

He said: “When you get to this stage of the season it is about results

“It was the same with Leicester a couple of years ago when we did just enough each win to get the three points.

“Ipswich will go up without a doubt. They have got enough.”

The former England Under-21 striker admitted he was surprised to be playing against his old club as he thought he would be on the bench.

He said: “I didn't expect to start but we had a few internationals and injuries so I ended up playing left midfield, which was not ideal. That is not my favourite position but we had a game plan.

“That went out of the window when we conceded two early goals and we had to chase the game and gambled a bit.”

n Drissa Diallo will make his return from a hamstring injury for Ipswich Town Reserves against Leicester City at Playford Road training ground this afternoon at 2pm.

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