Blues have top half of table in sights

GETTING into the top half of the table is Town's tantalising titbit if they can beat Bradford City tomorrow.Blues boss Joe Royle sees being on the first page of Teletext's Division One table as big step forward.

GETTING into the top half of the table is Town's tantalising titbit if they can beat Bradford City tomorrow, writes Derek Davis.

Blues boss Joe Royle sees being on the first page of Teletext's Division One table as big step forward.

He said: “It will be a hard game. They beat us last season in controversial circumstances when big Hermann was sent off but we have reversed the trend generally by beating the teams around us.

“We are in a good run with four wins in five and we are keen to go on. We have a chance with not many other teams playing of going into the top half of the table.


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“And after the doom and gloom of a few weeks ago that would be terrific.”

Georges Santos is Royle's only injury concern ahead of tomorrow's game at Bradford City.

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The French defender limped out of training yesterday with a slight groin strain but is expected to be fine this morning when the squad travels to Yorkshire.

If he fails to pass fit young Irish international Gerard Nash could step into the breach, although Royle has his reservations.

He said: “As much as I'm delighted with Gerard's progress this year and we have all seen how good he is going to be, whether or not he is ready is another thought.”

Town will be without striker Darren Bent, who was injured last week but is still with the England under-21s who play in Turkey tonight.

Royle said: “We are assuming he is staying with them which means he won't be available to us on Saturday. We could have done with him as we are running out of players.

“We are getting pretty stretched. With the exception of Armstrong and Westlake in the reserves the other night the majority were under-19s.”

Meanwhile, Royle is looking to prune his squad even further.

The Town boss was last night hoping a club were about to make an inquiry to take out-of-favour keeper Andy Marshall.

England under-18 international defender Chris Hogg has joined Third Division Boston United on loan.

Town paid a record £150,000 to York City to sign him for their Academy at 16 but he has not yet progressed as well as it was hoped.

Hogg joins former young Blues Lee Beevers and Richard Logan at the Pilgrims, who are managed by ex-Town star Neil Thompson.

Dutchman Nabil Abidallah is considering a move to Ross County, the most northerly professional football club in Great Britain.

County are top of the Scottish League Division One and spotted Abidallah when manager Alex Smith was in Ipswich looking at the club's academy and facilities and saw him play in a reserve game.

The 21-year-old is due to visit the Scottish club next week but as the transfer window is closed he would not be able to play for them, even on loan, until January. The former Ajax junior, whose contract expires next summer, is available on a free transfer.

Town's injury list continues unabated after Chris Makin broke down in the reserves on Wednesday while Aidan Collins was left with damaged ankle ligaments in the same game and is out for at least a month.

Tommy Miller completed 45 minutes in the 3-0 loss, with no adverse reaction and so is on track to return to the first team.

Martijn Reuser is still working on his strengthening exercises, although John McGreal has resumed full training.

Drissa Diallo is about a week away from returning from knee ligament damage.

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