Christophe Berra is a big miss for Ipswich Town, says Kevin Beattie

Christophe Berra

Christophe Berra - Credit: Archant

The quicker Christophe Berra is fit again, the better for Ipswich Town.

So says Blues legend Kevin Beattie, the former defender hailing the injured Scottish centre-back as ‘one of the best in the division’.

Ipswich have enjoyed a superb start to the season, claiming 10 points from a possible 15 in the Championship and winning two Capital One Cup matches to set up a third round tie at Manchester United.

And it is perhaps no coincidence that on the two occasions Town have dropped points, the 2-2 draw at Brentford on the opening weekend and the 3-2 home defeat to Brighton, Berra has been absent through suspension and injury respectively.

“I’m not one to blame the defence, but they could have done better against Brighton – I was a bit disappointed with them,” said Beattie.

“Christophe is a tremendous player – he holds that back four together.

“I’m not being critical of Tommy Smith, because I’m a Tommy Smith fan, but we definitely miss Christophe when he’s not available.

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“Any team would miss him because he’s one of the best defenders, if not the best, in the league.”

Berra injured his hamstring in training on August 24 and the initial prognosis was that he would be sidelined for a month. On that basis he is unlikely to face Reading, at the Madejski Stadium, on Friday and will be a doubt for next Tuesday’s trip to Leeds.

That could open the door for new Polish signing Piotr Malarczyk to make his full debut in the coming days.

“The Polish lad came on at half-time (against Brighton) and didn’t look out of place,” said Beattie.

“The game was obviously quicker than what he was used to, but I didn’t think he did himself any harm given he’d only just met his new team-mates that morning.”

Beattie added: “Along with Christophe, we have Teddy Bishop, Kevin Bru and Daryl Murphy to come back soon. This has to be the strongest squad we’ve had in years.”

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