Blues hope for curse

IPSWICH Town go to Sheffield United on Saturday hoping the so-called curse of the manager of the month award works against their opposition.

Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town go to Sheffield United on Saturday hoping the so-called curse of the manager of the month award works against their opposition.

Blades boss Kevin Blackwell has been nominated for the Championship prize for March, along with Norwich City's Bryan Gunn, Wolves' Mick McCarthy and Owen Coyle at Burnley.

The curse failed to kick in when Robert Martinez won the January award and his Swansea side triumphed 3-0 against Ipswich in the first game after the announcement.


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Town go to a United side who are unbeaten in the league for eight games, and took 14 points from a possible 18 last month beating second placed Birmingham along the way.

Blackwell has taken advantage of the international break to take his team for a relaxed training week in Malta and believes his side can go up automatically.

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He said: “We have done well in our past few matches and we are only three points behind Birmingham with a game in hand. If we win our next two, against Ipswich and Barnsley, our chances of winning promotion without the end of the play-offs, becomes quite possible.”

Town go to Bramall Lane with on-loan right-back Moritz Volz fit after a hernia operation. David Wright should keep his place at right back after recovering from a hamstring problem and all the players will be back in training today.

They will be without Jon Walters and Luciano Civelli and are sweating on Spurs midfield Giovani dos Santo who returned from Mexico without playing after picking up a groin strain in the goalless draw at home with Watford.

The on-loan attacking midfielder has returned to White Hart Lane to be assessed and if fit will be allowed to link back up with the Blues.

Town will be hoping skipper Gareth McAuley returns unscathed from World Cup action for Northern Ireland who played Slovenia, while frozen out Town duo Alex Bruce and Veliche Shumulikoski were with the Republic of Ireland and Macedonia respectively.

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