Banana skin game, warns Scowcroft

JAMES Scowcroft has own reasons for being wary of Rotherham - after they ruined his Christmas.The on-loan Blues forward was on the wrong end of a 1-0 Boxing Day defeat at Leicester City by the bottom club and, to compound his misery, Scowcroft was booked.

By Derek Davis

JAMES Scowcroft has own reasons for being wary of Rotherham - after they ruined his Christmas.

The on-loan Blues forward was on the wrong end of a 1-0 Boxing Day defeat at Leicester City by the bottom club and, to compound his misery, Scowcroft was booked.

Although Scowcroft played his part in a 2-0 win at Millmoor, the memory of being on the wrong end of that result in front of 27,000 City fans still irks.


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He said: “We lost at home and it was horrendous. It was the worst game I have been involved in for a while, certainly this season.”

The 29-year-old is hoping the misery is not repeated tonight, although he warns that, even though Town are third and the Millers bottom, nothing can be taken for granted.

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He said: “They have a new manager and had a decent win at the weekend so it is a potential banana skin.

“Most people are talking about what is going to happen between Wigan and Sunderland, overlooking what we have to do. Rotherham are not just going to turn up and let us win.”

Although Town are focused on Rotherham, it is inevitable that there is interest in events at the JJB Stadium, where Wigan take on Sunderland.

All permutations could help Town, but only if they beat Alan Knill's side, who would then be relegated.

With the Black Cats visiting on April 17, Scowcroft would rather Wigan were victorious tonight.

He said: “Personally, I feel it would be better if we can drag Sunderland into the equation. That will make it three teams fighting for two places instead of just looking at Wigan dropping away.

“The possibilities are wider if that happens, although any result there will be a positive result for Ipswich.”

But the experienced forward, who has 250 Town appearances under his belt, knows the perils of a promotion chase. He said: “It happened to us before when I was here.

“Crewe were struggling at the time and we slipped up and drew 2-2. That shows what can happen if you take your eye off the ball and don't concentrate on what you have to do.”

Scowcroft started three games when he first arrived on loan from the Foxes but has been on the bench ever since, going on as a substitute in the 6-0 win over Nottingham Forest and again against Cardiff and Gillingham.

It is not ideal for someone hoping to get a contract at Portman Road, as he becomes a free agent in the summer and knows it is extremely unlikely he will be offered anything at the Walkers Stadium.

Scowcroft said: “I don't have a problem with being on the bench. The boys are playing well and the manager has got his 11 players who have been fantastic for him all season.

“I didn't come here with any pre-conceived ideas about if I would be starting or not.

“It was thought Shefki (Kuqi) would be out injured longer than he was, but he came back and went back in the team.”

With six games to go, including tonight's, chances may be limited for Scowcroft, at a club that has used fewer players than any other side in the Championship, just 21 all season.

Scowcroft added: “Ipswich don't have the biggest squad in the league but they have been lucky with injuries this year, which has been a good thing.”

Unless there are any injuries this morning, Scowcroft will be on the bench again tonight.

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