Four doubtful for Saints trip

FOUR players are doubts for Ipswich Town for their Coca-Cola Championship match at Southampton tomorrow.

Elvin King

FOUR players are doubts for Ipswich Town for their Coca-Cola Championship match at Southampton tomorrow (kick off 7.45pm).

Team captain Gareth McAuley has a dead leg in his left thigh while Ben Thatcher has also got a dead leg that made him miss last weekend's win over Reading.

Midfielder Alan Quinn is suffering from a tight hamstring and Jon Walters has had stitches inserted in his head after a blow during the Reading match on Saturday and the wound is still bruised and swollen.

Town manager Jim Magilton said today: “We will see how all four come through the next 24 hours and then make a decision.

“Gareth and Ben are major doubts although Ben did some jogging yesterday.

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“We don't want Alan's hamstring to tear so we will have to be careful while we will take medical advice on Jon with a head injury.

“I know all four want to play but it will be a case of seeing how they react today.”

David Norris will travel to the south coast and not be involved in tonight's reserve game against Wycombe Wanderers and he could be involved in his first league game of the season after suffering heel problems since last March.

Norris is not match fit but the £2 million signing from Plymouth last January is considered by Magilton the type of player who could be boosted by the adrenalin rush of a first-team match.

Defender Alex Bruce will be in the reserves tonight and will not travel to Southampton after serving a three-match suspension. Magilton said: “Alex is a wholehearted player who has the right attitude, but he is in a position now where he might have to fight for his place back in the team.”

Magilton has the choice of using young Dutch defender Pim Balkestein or Ivan Campo to play at the back if McAuley is not fit.

The manager also confirmed that any player who impresses in tonight's reserve game could travel down to Southampton to meet up with the squad tomorrow.

Jai Reason will play a game for York City and the young midfielder's future will be decided after that on whether he goes on loan, while Ed Upson is on loan at Stevenage with Magilton looking for him to play matches or he could bring him back to Portman Road.