Gavin mystery

MYSTERY last night surrounded the future of Blues midfielder Gavin Williams.Williams claims he has been told he can leave Ipswich Town - but he is refusing to be pushed out.

By Derek Davis

MYSTERY last night surrounded the future of Blues midfielder Gavin Williams.

Williams claims he has been told he can leave Ipswich Town - but he is refusing to be pushed out.

Manager Jim Magilton is also prepared to listen to offers for striker Alan Lee and has received inquiries about both players, but no firm bids.

But the manager said last night: “Williams is not going anywhere. Every transfer window throws up speculation over player movements. Gavin is one of our best players and is bound to attract such interest.

“However, I have not brought in players of the quality and the promise of Alex Bruce, Dan Harding, Gary Roberts, George O'Callaghan and David Wright to let Gavin go.

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“But in today's football market every player has his price. It would take an awful lot of money to prise Gavin Williams away from this club.”

However, on the club website Magilton was quoted as saying he would listen to offers for Williams and Lee. In response to that the Wales international insisted he had no intention of going anywhere.

Williams said last night: “The manager told me he was prepared to listen to offers for me and that I can go. I was really surprised to hear that because I feel I have been doing well.

“I have no intention of leaving just for the sake of it. I like it here. I think Ipswich is a great club and I feel we are going places.

“We are building a squad that is capable of anything. We could even put a run together from now on and be in with a shout of going up.

“I don't know why the gaffer has said that, perhaps he is not happy with what happened about Amsterdam or the injury but the thing with the trip won't happen again and I'm playing games, so I'm fit enough to play.”

Williams, a £350,000 signing from West Ham, is widely regarded among supporters as Town's best player while Lee has also struck up a good relationship with fans.

The 26-year-old Williams, a former Yeovil midfielder, has struggled with a groin problem this season, yet when he has played has been outstanding.

His performances in December after coming back from surgery earned him the e.on/EADT Player of the Month accolade and he donated his prize of sporting equipment to Broke Hall School.

Williams said: “It was good to get back playing and even better to score against Leeds and then Birmingham on New Year's Day. They were both winning goals which makes it even better and even though I'm struggling a bit in between games I'm able to play 90 minutes.”

Williams missed the 1-0 loss against Colchester but was at Layer Road to see the game.

He said: “We owe them one for that. Colchester are a good team that have done very well and will be really up for this match just as they were before.

“I don't think we treated them lightly before and we certainly won't now but if we play as we can then we can get a result.”

Meanwhile injuries have hit both sides ahead of the first derby match between them at Portman Road in more than 50 years.

The Blues have grave concerns over Owen Garvan, who missed Tuesday's FA Cup win over Chester City with a gashed foot, while French midfielder Sylvain Legwinski is still struggling with a hip injury.

With Jason de Vos ruled out for more than a month with a broken foot-bone Town will look to give a home debut to David Wright, who was cup-tied for the Chester game.

The Blues will be relieved to know that Jamie Cureton missed training again yesterday with a hamstring problem - the Colchester goal ace is rated highly doubtful for tomorrow.

If Cureton fails to recover from his hamstring injury, then manager Geraint Williams could play either Jamie Guy or Hogan Ephraim up front, alongside Chris Iwelumo. Alternatively, the Welshman could also push Richard Garcia into the middle to partner Iwelumo, with Kevin McLeod returning on the wing.

Neither team will be affected by suspensions tomorrow but Ipswich could be made to pay for their disciplinary indiscretions.

Alex Bruce misses the Swansea FA Cup match and the game at Stoke the following Tuesday.

Stand-in skipper Richard Naylor and Gary Roberts are both on four bookings and one more would mean a single-match ban.

George O'Callaghan is likely to be named in the first team squad after completing his protracted move from Cork City. He will wear the No. 21 shirt.

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