Damien Delaney aims to “screw” up Royals’ promotion push

DAMIEN Delaney will today play through the pain barrier in a bid to prove to Paul Jewell he doesn’t need to sign a new defender.

The tough Irishman has a screw inserted in his foot after suffering a stress fracture in October’s 1-0 defeat by Crystal Palace.

But the 30-year-old is willing to do whatever it takes to impress the manager after winning his place back for the Boxing Day draw at Leicester City.

Delaney said: “I have a screw in my foot and when I first saw it, it looked like something out of B&Q. But that and the insoles in my boots are fabulous as I know I have that security. It was sore after Leicester but it does mean the foot can’t break any more.

“A lot of people might think when you are injured you just sit around drinking tea. But I did an awful lot of work – three sessions a day, cycling, swimming and the treadmill. It was a testament to Ipswich that I was able to come back into the team and not feel too bad.”

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With Jewell virtually ruling out a move for former loanee Danny Collins, Delaney knows he has a fight to convince his manager that he doesn’t need to go back into the transfer market when it reopens on Sunday.

But after a man-of-the-match return against Leicester and with two games in three days – starting with today’s testing trip to in-form Reading – he has plenty of chance to back up his words with performances.

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Delaney said: “I don’t know if he (Jewell) wants to do anything in January. I have a few games to make up his mind for him. Hopefully I can put in some good performances and then finish the season strongly.”

The Republic of Ireland international has had a nightmare campaign thus far after injuring his ankle ligaments in the opening day win at Bristol City and then breaking his foot two months later.

In between, he was in the centre of the defence that conceded 12 goals in two matches against Southampton and Peterborough.

He admitted: “My season has been frustrating as I have only played five or so games which is not great. But there are still 24 to go and my aim is to play in as many of those as possible and get Town as near to the play-offs as we can.”

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