Extra incentive to win a new deal

JANUARY is going to be a big month for a lot of people at Ipswich - not least Chris Casement whose contact runs out in the summer.The defender, who will be 20 later this month, made just his third appearance of the season at Coventry in Saturday's 2-1 loss.

By Derek Davis

JANUARY is going to be a big month for a lot of people at Ipswich - not least Chris Casement whose contact runs out in the summer.

The defender, who will be 20 later this month, made just his third appearance of the season at Coventry in Saturday's 2-1 loss.

While he is unlikely to keep his place at full back against the Baggies today, as Magilton looks to a more experienced player to deal with the threat coming down the left flank, probably by Chris Brunt, Casement is still determined to show he is worth a new deal.


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Casement said: “From a personal point of view, I'm delighted to get back into the starting line-up. Of course, I was disappointed with the result but we can put that right against West Brom.

“Getting a new deal is always in the back of my mind but I will do my best not to allow it to affect me. There is only three months left but we will see what happens.

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“I want to take whatever chance come my way whether that is right or left back, centre half to even up front, where ever, I will always give 100 per cent.”

Blues boss Jim Magilton is still undecided on whether to offer Casement a new deal and would like to see him more often in action, at Town or on loan somewhere.

He said: “Chris did very well in the first half but in the second half, probably due to a lack of match experience he made a couple of unforced errors and ultimately one cost us but overall he did very well.

“We have to make a judgement call on Chris because his contract is coming up and we have to see if he can produce.

“He has all the attributes to be a very good player but we have not seen enough of him which we need to do.

“I would love to get him out on loan and playing regularly and he won't let anyone down.”

The Belfast boy who is another product of Town's academy has been given both his starts in away games and they proved to be tough lessons, although fellow full-back David Wright was full of praise for casement after the Sky Blues loss.

Casement said: “It was hard but every day I'm learning from senior professionals but there is no better place to learn than actually playing. It is always good to get encouragement from senior pros like David Wright who has played in the Premier but all I can do is keep working and learning.”

Part of his learning curve has been playing for the Northern Ireland Under-21s and he is hoping to get more game time in the next three months - even if that means going out on loan.

Casement said: “Playing for Northern Ireland is always a good break although it is hard work. I have grown up with those lads so it is good to get back and work and have a laugh. With reserve games so infrequent, the international games have helped me this season.

“I have played a fair amount in qualifiers so it is a good step and I have another couple in February.”

Whether he is playing or not, Casement is convinced Town's poor away form can not continue.

He added: “We are still aware of that away record but we all firmly believe that if we keep working hard and keep our heads down then we will win away.

“It may come down to a bit of luck or whatever but it will come.

“We have been nothing short of excellent at home and our fans have had plenty to cheer about.

“We will play our normal game and the result will take care of itself. West Brom are a top team and it will be a tough test for us but we can meet that test.”

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