De Vos dismisses league results

ALTHOUGH the Hammers got the better of the Blues during the regular campaign, defensive lynch-pin Jason De Vos has dismissed that as irrelevant when the teams meet in the play-offs, writes Derek Davis.

ALTHOUGH the Hammers got the better of the Blues during the regular campaign, defensive lynch-pin Jason De Vos has dismissed that as irrelevant when the teams meet in the play-offs, writes Derek Davis.

Pablo Counago got Ipswich Town's goal at Upton Park in the 1-1 draw and West Ham took advantage of a Blues hangover by beating them 2-0 on New Year's Day at Portman Road.

Third-placed Ipswich finished 12 points clear of Alan Pardew's sixth-placed side, but again De Vos believes all that will be insignificant tomorrow and next Wednesday.

The Canadian said: "This is the start of a new season for us. We have completed a 46-game season but that counts for nothing. All those results mean nothing.


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"We know we have a two-game season and a battle over two legs against West Ham to go into the final game. It is not going to be easy, but we have a lot of belief in ourselves and know we can do it."

De Vos won promotion to Division One as skipper of Wigan two years ago, going up as champions and so not needing the lottery of the play-offs.

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De Vos accepts Premiership promotion is now as much in the lap of the gods as it is down to how well they can play.

He said: "We are going to need a bit of luck, but look at Crystal Palace last year who just scraped in against the odds, but now have a good chance of surviving in the Premiership.

"I have a lot of confidence that we will be able to go up ourselves this season."

De Vos would already be a Premiership player if he had stayed at the JJB Stadium, but he insists he has no regrets about leaving after Wigan reneged on a contract offer and then tried to get him to accept another deal.

He said: "Quite a few people have predictably asked me if I regret my decision to leave Wigan and join Ipswich now that they have been promoted.

"I can quite categorically state 100% that I'm confident it was the right thing for me to do.

"Ipswich is a wonderful club to play for and I love it here. I'm also totally convinced that we can do the business and join Wigan in the Premiership next season.

"I can assure everyone that we will all be doing everything in our power to make that happen."

De Vos is fully recovered from a virus which forced him to miss training last week before the Brighton draw, although reserve goalkeeper Lewis Price has contracted the bug but is expected to be fit. If he does not make it then Shane Supple is on stand-by.

Richard Naylor is still feeling a sore Achilles but won't let that stop him playing, and Fabian Wilnis will ignore a gashed head to take his place.

Blues boss Joe Royle has named an 18-man squad for both games against West Ham, with Monaco loanee Jimmy Juan, Matt Richards, Dean McDonald and Dean Bowditch, who has returned from a loan spell at Burnley, added to the squad that faced Brighton.

David Unsworth and James Scowcroft are not included as their loan spells have ended.

Richards could play at left-back in place of Unsworth, or Drissa Diallo could play on the right with Wilnis switching across.

Another option for Town is to use three centre-backs and play with Richards and Wilnis as wing-backs.

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