Back to basics after Chelsea distraction

ALTHOUGH Jon Walters got to know some very good people during his stint at Barnsley his over-riding memory is one of running, running and more running.

Derek Davis

ALTHOUGH Jon Walters got to know some very good people during his stint at Barnsley his over-riding memory is one of running, running and more running.

The Blues striker spent a couple of months at Oakwell on loan from Bolton in the 2003/04 season, making a dozen appearances when Gudjon Thordarsson was the Tykes boss.

Walters recalls: “Some of the sessions were strange.

“After games instead of a recovery day we would have the hardest running sessions going.

“I had a couple of friends there at the time and it was good to play games and overall I enjoyed it, even if it was a bit strange.

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“We were top five when I was there and we were on a good run.”

Walters has good memories of the last meeting Town had with Barnsley after being part of a 3-0 win, gifted to them by Heinz Muller.

Walters said: “The keeper didn't have the best of nights. They are a good team when they want to be and have some good players, certainly in the middle.”

The Town striker was out injured last March when Town were stuffed 4-1 at Oakwell, a game he will be glad to have missed, and knows his team-mates will be making sure that doesn't happen again.

He said: “The lads who were in that team will have revenge on their minds, too.”

Barnsley went into that game on the back of a 1-0 FA Cup win against Chelsea, but now they will be hurting after a 4-0 loss at Norwich last time out.

He said: “They had the break on Saturday but after the Norwich game I can imagine they will have been working on shape and defensive work. They will look to make it difficult for us and be hard to break down.”

After all the hype over the FA Cup defeat at Stamford Bridge, Walters is looking forward to getting back into Championship action, and making sure Town are not cut adrift from the leading pack.

He said: “Even before the cup game we knew this was the more important game. As nice as it was to play Chelsea this is our bread and butter.

“Two games in a week gives you a chance to bridge the gap quickly and six points is what we have to aim for.

“We got seven out of nine in our previous league games so we can go on a run now.”

Alex Bruce will be making his 100th appearance for the Blues, the first player to do so under Jim Magilton, while Owen Garvan will join him on Saturday if he plays tonight and against Plymouth.

Town have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to south Yorkshire with Moritz Volz (groin) and Iv�n Campo the longer-term casualties.

Ben Thatcher is fit after recovering from a virus and is looking to dislodge David Wright at left-back.

Tonight's squads

Barnsley: Muller, Steele, Van Homoet, Moore, Guedes, Kozluk, Potter, El Haimour, De Silva, Hassell, Leon, Butterfield, Devaney, Campell-Ryce, Macken, Rigters, Bogdanovic and Odejayi.

Ipswich Town: R Wright, Supple, D Wright, Thatcher, Bruce, McAuley, Balkestein, Shumulikoski, Miller, Garvan, Quinn, Norris, Bowditch, Haynes, Walters, Lisbie, Counago and Stead.