Haynes handed call up
DANNY Haynes has been called into the Blues' first-team squad, which will be of some consolation after seeing a hat-trick washed out.The 17-year-old midfielder gave Ipswich Town Under-18s a 3-0 half-time lead against Spurs on Saturday at Portman Road but the game was then abandoned due to a torrential downpour.
By Derek Davis
DANNY Haynes has been called into the Blues' first-team squad, which will be of some consolation after seeing a hat-trick washed out.
The 17-year-old midfielder gave Ipswich Town Under-18s a 3-0 half-time lead against Spurs on Saturday at Portman Road but the game was then abandoned due to a torrential downpour.
Haynes has earned his call-up after a string of impressive games for the reserves and youth team and, with Jim Magilton and Jimmy Juan both injury doubts and Ian Westlake a longer-term absentee, boss Joe Royle has included him in tonight's squad.
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A Londoner, who had a spell with Charlton and interested Norwich before joining the Blues Academy in the summer of 2004, Haynes is the latest member of the FA Youth Cup-winning side to step up to the senior squad.
Fabian Wilnis returns to the starting line-up after missing out at Sheffield United and goes in at right-back, with Sito Castro suspended.
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Jay McEveley is a doubt with a sore foot, knee and groin, so Matt Richards is on stand-by to step back in at left-back.
Depending on how the injured players respond this morning, a couple more young players may also be added to the bench, with Scott Barron, Liam Trotter and Scott Mitchell in with a chance.
Royle believes his side has done well in the face of medical adversity. He said: “Considering the problems we have had, we have had a terrific start to still be in touch with second place.
“We have lost a goalscorer, two centre-halves at different times, a keeper and a full-back already. That is probably more injuries already than we had all last season. So, all in all, we are being tested.”
In contrast to last season, Royle would still like to see more goals from his team but is happy enough with his defence.
He said: “Take the four goals out of the Preston game apart, we have defended well. We have defended a lot better this year, we just need to find a goal threat.
“We are missing Nicky Forster and, whereas we had three experienced strikers and the promise of Dean Bowditch, the promise has not materialised from Dean and we are looking for him to make that quantum leap. That is not to say it won't happen, but it has not happened yet.”
n Tomorrow's reserve match against West Ham will now be played at Upton Park instead of Dagenham & Redbridge's Victoria Road ground (7pm kick-off).