Bates goes back

IT has been confirmed that Matt Bates has tears in medial and cruciate ligaments and will be out of action for the rest of the year.The on-loan defender has returned to his mother club Middlesbrough and is unlikely to return to Portman Road.

By Derek Davis

IT has been confirmed that Matt Bates has tears in medial and cruciate ligaments and will be out of action for the rest of the year.

The on-loan defender has returned to his mother club Middlesbrough and is unlikely to return to Portman Road.

The injury blow, along with impending suspensions, leaves Jim Magilton looking at the players he has discarded, or not used so far, to come back and do a job.


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With the 'emergency' loan window now closed, Magilton will not be able to bring in any replacements until the transfer window opens in January so he has to make do with what he has got.

Scott Barron will look to press for a return to the first team with a good showing at left-back tonight in the Suffolk Premier Cup tie at Needham Market.

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With Dan Harding suspended for the game at home to Burnley on Saturday, Blues boss Magilton needs cover in the full-back position.

It is likely that Fabian Wilnis will start at left-back with Alex Bruce shuffling across to right-back, as he may do against Derby tomorrow, with Richard Naylor in at centre-half.

Sito Castro could also come into the equation, although the picture will be clearer after the match at Pride Park.

Sito is also included in tonight's squad for the rearranged Suffolk Premier Cup match, as is Gavin Williams, who played the final 16 minutes of the Blues' 1-0 defeat at Barnsley on Saturday.

Williams is expected to link up with the first-team squad that will travel to Pride Park providing he comes through the quarter-final without any problems.

The winners of tonight's contest will face Ipswich Wanderers at Humber Doucy Lane in the semi-final.

Tonight's line-ups

Needham Market: L Jones, Sim, Banham, Tracey, Barber, Agricole, A Jones, Bailey, Buckle, Fleming, Evans, Thorogood, Snell, Deacon, Thrower and Smith.

Ipswich Town: Plummer, Synnott, Barron, Moore, Casement, Smith, Upson, G Williams, Leabon, Knights, Sito. Subs: Rhodes, Reason, Fenn, Robinson and C Williams.

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