Garvan is ready to make giant leap

FILLING the No.7 shirt was always going to be a big ask, after Jim Magilton packed in as an Ipswich player, but the pressure is on even more for Owen Garvan now with the captain stepping up to manager.

By Derek Davis

FILLING the No.7 shirt was always going to be a big ask, after Jim Magilton packed in as an Ipswich player, but the pressure is on even more for Owen Garvan now with the captain stepping up to manager.

While the boss will be casting a beady eye over every player, Garvan knows that his position will come under particular scrutiny from Magilton but he is also aware that he needs to show he is continuing his remarkable progress.

The 18-year-old Irishman made his debut last season in the opening game against Cardiff City and impressed in the Championship campaign and is determined not to suffer from second season syndrome.

“Last year I was the new kid coming into the team now I have to show people more and that I have improved and then just try and get better and better.

“I don't set particular targets for myself but to be part of this team and, as a team, we set our goals high and the club has to be pushing for promotion.”

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Garvan suffered a set-back when he returned from his short summer break with a fluid on the knee problem and that has hampered his pre-season, not helped by a bout of shingles, but is confident he will play some part of the friendly against Lazio tonight, and get more fitness under his belt with a stint against Cambridge United tomorrow.

He will also be glad to lose the 'Owen The Moan' tag that has followed him over from Dublin, although he admits to being a bad patient.

Garvan said: “I just get bored when I can't play, especially when I see all the other lads playing.

“I obviously don't think I moan but others seem to think I do and I'm sure the physios are glad to see me fit and out of their room.

“It has been a while since I have played but the knee is getting a lot better. I have been training for the past couple of days with no reaction and, even though I will need to wear some strapping, I should play a part against Lazio and again on Saturday.

“I want to get back playing and this a great game to do that against a Serie A side at Portman Road.”

Garvan has not taken part in any of Town's five pre-season games so far but sees this as their biggest test so far, even though the Italians have been through some turmoil recently.

Lazio were relegated to Serie B for their part in the match fixing scandal but have now been reinstated to the top flight, although they start with a 11-point penalty.

Garvan said: “I find it a bit strange that they were told their punishment was to be relegated but now they have been reinstated to the top league. It does probably mean that they will keep their top players and, hopefully, they will be on show at Portman Road.

“It will make it more interesting and should be an intriguing game.

“The Italians tend to play a more patient game, going back to the keeper more and starting again, whereas the English game is more press, press, press.

“The game should make us think and we have to work out a way past them to break them down. The more you work out how to play against other team the better player you become.

“It is important for us to try and play our own way, getting the ball down and passing and let them worry about us.”

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