Gareth hopes to upset his old pals

THERE was a certain inevitability for Gareth McAuley that Ipswich Town's first opponents at home this coming season would be his former club Leicester City.

Derek Davis

THERE was a certain inevitability for Gareth McAuley that Ipswich Town's first opponents at home this coming season would be his former club Leicester City.

McAuley signed from the Foxes last summer after they had been relegated to League One but bounced straight back up as champions are the first visitors to Portman Road in the 2009/2010 season when they come on Saturday, August 15.

McAuley said: “Leicester were flying last year and were a cut above the rest but they may find it a bit harder in the Championship.


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“That said they will be full of confidence.

“There have been quite a few changes since I left but I still keep in touch with one or two of the lads there.

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“I'm pleased they are back in the Championship. They had a good away record last season so it will be a difficult game for us.”

Former Blues defender Wayne Brown is now at the Walkers Stadium, along with centre half Michael Morrison who hails from Haverhill and reserve keeper Carl Pentney whose family live in Brightlingsea.

Before the Leicester visit Town go to Coventry City for the season opener on Saturday, August 8 and then travel to Shrewsbury for the first round of the Carling Cup.

It means Town boss Roy Keane will be starting where he left off as he maintained his 100 per cent win ratio as Town boss at the end of the season with a 2-1 win over the Sky Blues.

Gio dos Santos and Pablo Counago both scored in the win while Clinton Morrison netted for city.

Coventry have lost two key players since then with skipper Scott Danns moving to the Premier League with Birmingham City and former Town target Robbie Simpson joining Gary Roberts at Huddersfield.

It will be the first time in seven years that Town have had to start the season away from home and McAuley insist it is vital they get on the front foot from the off.

He said: “Our home form let us down last season and we have to put that right.

“We didn't start very well last season losing our first two home games and that really puts you on the back foot.

“So we have got to start the season well at Coventry and then push on from there against Leicester and Palace.

“It is going to be a very competitive league next season, with some big clubs in there and that makes it even more important that we start well.”

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