Delaney: I want my place back

IPSWICH TOWN: Damien Delaney today delivered a message to team-mate Tommy Smith: “I’m back up and running and after your place”.

Delaney came through with no ill-effects after his first run-out since suffering a potential career threatening compartment syndrome problem, after being on the receiving end of a dead leg in training in mid-July.

After playing 45 minutes of yesterday’s reserve game against Oxford United the 29-year-old defender ruled himself out of a first team comeback at Portsmouth in the Championship on Saturday, but declared he was now fully recovered and just needs to find match fitness.

But he realises it will not be easy to regain his place with Smith doing so well beside Gareth McAuley at the heart of the Town defence.

He sees this as a plus, explaining: “Ask any player and they would have it no other way.

“Tommy I’m sure is happy to have me breathing down his neck again and the manager wants this competitive spirit with two players fighting it out for every position.

“I’ve been in this situation before, and I’ll wait and wait but when I do get my chance I shall not be giving it up.

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“With Tommy doing so well there’s no extra pressure on me making a too quick return.”

Delaney says that he has got his youthful enthusiasm back having missed around five months with first an ankle injury and then his latest injury that required a major operation.

“It could have been a lot worse,” he added.

“There was a chance that I may not have played again this season so to be out there yesterday wearing an Ipswich Town jersey again was great.

“And I came through will no problems and would happily have played on, but the medical staff know best. I needed a second operation and I’m blessed that the surgeon did such a great job.

“I had a letter from a lady who suffered a similar injury and she lost 75% of her thigh muscle. If they had cut any part of my muscle it would have presented a real problem.

“There was still a lot of wastage and I’ve been working hard to build that up and realistically I need to train more with the first team and have another reserve game or two before being considered for the first team.”

Darren O’Dea has been receiving treatment on a knee strain since returning from duty with the Republic of Ireland on Sunday and is expected to be fit to face Pompey on Saturday.

Jaime Peters returns from his time with Canada tomorrow having not featured in their game on Tuesday. Martin Fulop was on the bench for both Hungary’s recent games but Tamas Priskin, who played one half on Friday, was not involved on Tuesday for his national side.

Conor Hourihane won his third cap for the Republic of Ireland Under-21 side in their 1-0 defeat by Turkey on Tuesday, while Shane O’Connor is nursing a hamstring problem after returning to Suffolk early from the same squad.

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