Davis hoping to win against old club

THE affection Kelvin Davis has for former club Wimbledon is hard for him to conceal and seeing them bottom of the table hurts him almost as much as it did being down there with Town for a couple of days, writes Derek Davis.

THE affection Kelvin Davis has for former club Wimbledon is hard for him to conceal and seeing them bottom of the table hurts him almost as much as it did being down there with Town for a couple of days, writes Derek Davis.

But Davis is convinced the old Crazy Gang spirit still survives at the Dons and getting the go-ahead to play at their new home in Milton Keynes on Saturday will give them a massive boost.

He is also a strong believer in manager Stuart Murdoch's ability to keep the Dons afloat but at the same time reckons they are no match for Town's secret weapon – flapjacks.

Wimbledon were last night told they could move in next week and play their first game at the new home at the National Hockey Centre in Milton Keynes, against Burnley next Saturday.


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The turf has been laid, the pitch marked out and the Football League is happy the ground reaches the standards

Davis said: "It will be a massive boost for them because for getting on for a year and half when I was there we were promised we would be playing in Milton Keynes and it never materialised.

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"We were led up the garden path; first we would be there last Christmas, then it was off, then on again and finally we were promised we would start this season at Milton Keynes. All this time we were playing in front of 1,000 or less, which at times was difficult.

"It was like climbing a mountain and thinking you had cracked it only to find there was another mountain to climb all over again on the horizon. But now it is really about to happen it will lift the lads and the sooner they are actually playing there the better it will be.

"The people of Milton Keynes want it to happen and the sooner the resources start coming in so they can strengthen the squad, the better they will be and they will look to stay in this league."

The financial situation at Wimbledon, which is even more severe than Town's problems, forced them to move out a number of their best players, including Davis who signed on a free in July and he has no regrets.

He said: "The facilities at this club can outshine many a Premier League club and certainly Wimbledon is a long way behind Ipswich but hopefully for them the move is the first step to changing that."

The loss of strikers David Connolly and Neil Shipperley also hurt and manager Murdoch has turned to 19-year-old Nigel Reo-Coker to captain the team – surely the youngest-ever First Division skipper.

But Davis is not surprised the England youngster was handed the arm-band.

He said: "Nigel is the type of lad who does his talking with the football. He is a great team player and typical of what we had at Wimbledon. The situation brought the players very close together and believe me, they will be fighting for one and another on Saturday.

"They have not had a good start and will be looking for three points. The experienced lads have moved on but others, especially the young players have picked up the mantle.

"Patrick Agyemang is quick up front but all of them are capable of producing something special."

The Town keeper was in goal for the Dons who whacked Ipswich 5-1 last season and praised manager Murdoch, the former Suffolk headmaster turned goalkeeping coach who many thought was worthy of the manager of the year award last season for keeping cash-crippled Dons in the top 10 of Division One.

He said: "I can't speak highly enough of the man. He was thrown in the deep end with the sharks and has more than produced the goods.

"He is a man who doesn't like to be defeated and he will have his side revved up for the game."

Davis now believes all Ipswich need to get on a run themselves is a few clean sheets and more ruthless finishing.

And while coaches and staff will take the credit for Tuesday's win, Davis believes the secret weapon and important factor for Tuesday's victory was the re-introduction of Wendy Sturmey's home-made flapjacks.

Davis said: "Wendy has made another batch so hopefully they will have the same effect and we win on Saturday."

n A crowd of between 23-24,000 is expected for today's match at Portman Road.

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