Holland's love for Town put to one side

MATT Holland returns to Portman Road for the first time in a competitive game determined to put his affection for his old club to one side.Holland lifted the play-off trophy for Ipswich in 2000 and is hoping he can repeat the feat for Charlton in May.

Derek Davis

MATT Holland returns to Portman Road for the first time in a competitive game determined to put his affection for his old club to one side.

Holland lifted the play-off trophy for Ipswich in 2000 and is hoping he can repeat the feat for Charlton in May.

He told the EADT: “I will never forget that day, lifting the trophy at Wembley, it is among the greatest in my life. I had a fantastic time at Ipswich but whatever affection I have for them I will have to put to one side because this is a very big game for us.”


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A Premier League club last year, Charlton were expected to go straight back up but it has not worked out like that for them.

Holland said: “It has been very disappointing because we expected to be up there challenging for a top two place. It has not worked out like that and now we are in danger of falling out of the top six if we are not careful.

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“There are a herd of clubs charging up behind us, including Ipswich, and we need to start winning to stay in the play-offs.”

Although Holland never played alongside Shefki Kuqi he knows all about him, as a person and player.

He said: “I have played against him quite a few times and he is a good player that is always a handful for defenders. I'm not sure if he will play today but if he does we will have to find a way to handle it.”

Holland drove the short distance from his home near Colchester to stay with the rest of the Charlton side at the Stoke-By-Nayland Hotel last night. He and Darren Ambrose are both expected to start against their old club with former Colchester United striker Chris Iwelumo up front.

Rumours that Scott Sinclair had returned to Chelsea due to a lack of match action have proved to be unfounded but the loanee winger is expected to start today.

Holland has been back to play at Ipswich just once since his £800,000 move to Charlton and that was to play in Richard Naylor's testimonial.

Given the way Magilton has brought back old players to the club it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the next time Holland appears at Portman Road after today he could be back in a Blues shirt again.

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