Bent plays, Bent doesn't

LEADING scorer Darren Bent has been cleared to play on Saturday, but Marcus Bent will NOT feature in any of the play-off matches.Blues boss Joe Royle last night confirmed that he would not drop Darren after an incident with a BB gun but would make sure the 20-year-old was in the right frame of mind to play.

LEADING scorer Darren Bent has been cleared to play on Saturday, but Marcus Bent will NOT feature in any of the play-off matches, writes Derek Davis.

Blues boss Joe Royle last night confirmed that he would not drop Darren after an incident with a BB gun but would make sure the 20-year-old was in the right frame of mind to play.

He said: “I have no problems playing Darren. I will check how he is in the morning's training and then decide.”

Reports yesterday suggested Marcus would be available to play for Town after Leicester finish their schedule at Highbury on Saturday, trying to stop Arsenal finishing the season unbeaten.


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But Royle last night said: “Marcus will not play in any of the play-offs. Dave Bassett said Marcus would be free to return to Ipswich on Monday but we have checked and he remains a Leicester player until May 31 and will not be available to play for us.”

Town have been boosted by an improvement to midfielder Tommy Miller, who did a work-out yesterday while most of the squad enjoyed a day off.

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Royle said: “Tommy came through okay and that is encouraging.”

The Hammers will have defender Rufus Brevett back from an ankle injury after he came through without any reaction after their draw against Charlton reserves.

Fellow defender Andy Melville reckons that solid defending will be the key to the first leg play-off trip to Ipswich on Saturday.

“We will need to defend well away from home and hopefully set ourselves up. We have only conceded one goal in four games so hopefully we will get that side of it right - and we have enough quality to score at the other end,” he said

Melville will keep his place even though Tomas Repka is available again after a three-match ban.

He added: “We have two massive games coming up now - and the fans deserve a trip to Cardiff.

“We are all looking forward to the play-offs. Ipswich are a quality side who get the ball down well and pass it, as we try to - and managed to do in the second half on Sunday at Wigan.”

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