Ex-loan man Tyrone Barnett could come back to haunt Ipswich Town

Tyrone Barnett

Tyrone Barnett - Credit: Archant

Peterborough v Ipswich: PETERBOROUGH United manager Darren Ferguson is considering starting Tyrone Barnett against former loan club Ipswich Town tomorrow.

The striker joined the Blues on loan last November after Ferguson suspended him following an unauthorised night out.

Barnett – a £1.2m signing from Crawley – said he would be ‘delighted’ to leave Posh and sign for Ipswich permanently, but a knee injury sustained in only his third outing cut short the spell.

He made his return to action as a substitute in Tuesday night’s 2-2 home draw with Charlton though. And, despite getting a few boss from the Posh fans, the player now looks set to be a big part of Ferguson’s plans for the final run-in.

With just five points separating second-bottom Peterborough and 19th-place Ipswich ahead of tomorrow’s match at London Road, the Posh boss told the Peterborough Telegraph: “Tyrone will definitely be involved, whether it’s as a substitute or a starter.

“He offers us something different, but if he plays it will be all about finding the right service for him.

“I don’t want us to start lumping the ball up to him. He needs long, diagonal balls or accurate crosses because he is so dangerous in the air. The header he delivered which led to a goal for the reserves (against Gillingham on Wednesday) was an awesome effort.

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“Tyrone’s attitude since he returned to the club has been excellent. He knows he must prepare and play the right way and if he does that he could have a future with us beyond the end of this season.”

Like Ipswich, Peterborough have only recorded two wins against teams currently in the bottom seven of the Championship.

Ferguson said: “We’ve had great opportunities in recent weeks to drag other teams into the relegation battle. If we had beaten Birmingham, we would have been close to them with games in hand, and it was the same with Charlton the other night.

“A win tomorrow would bring Ipswich to within two points and we would still have a game in hand so it’s vital that we collect three points. Getting to 40 points with 10 games still to go would be a real boost for us all.

“Obviously it won’t be easy as any team managed by Mick McCarthy will be hard to beat and they have been playing well. They were very good when beating Leicester last week and they played very well again at Forest this week where they had two men sent off and yet were still hard to break down.

“We will have to be very patient tomorrow as Ipswich will be well organised. They’ve also got real threats in David McGoldrick and Michael Chopra.

“But as always how we play will determine how we get on. In every game we play it’s vital that we keep hold of the ball because if we enjoy a lot of possession we will create chances.

“We showed that at Blackburn last weekend when we retained possession very well. Against Charlton the other night we kept giving it away and if you do that against any teams at this level they will find a way to hurt you.

“The first goal is always crucial in our matches, but, as far as we are concerned, it’s also important we get a second goal to kill the game off. We had the chances to do that against Charlton, but failed and it cost us a couple of points.”

Ferguson expects centre-back Gaby Zakuani to play through constant shoulder pain tomorrow with the help of pain-killing injections before the start of each half. On-loan midfielder Davide Petrucci could also return to the squad after injury along with teenage left-back Kgosi Ntlhe.

– Mick McCarthy’s pre-match press conference is at 1pm today. Keep an eye on this website for all the latest news, with a full match preview in tomorrow’s EADT.