Jason's been planning to sink Pilgrims

SET plays have proved vital in deciding many Championship games this season and the latest break has given the Blues extra time on working out ways of hurting the opposition.

Derek Davis

SET plays have proved vital in deciding many Championship games this season and the latest break has given the Blues extra time on working out ways of hurting the opposition.

Skipper Jason de Vos revealed that while Plymouth were being knocked out of the FA Cup at Portsmouth, Ipswich had been on the training ground working on ways of sinking the Pilgrims.

The Canadian said: “The break has given us time to let one or two knocks and injuries settle and give us time to work on the training ground.

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“You have so many games that quite often you don't have time to work on things you want to work on.

“Not having a cup game has given us time to do that and hopefully that will translate onto the pitch.

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“It is not about fitness, it is about fine turning and working on different things.

“Set plays are important in both boxes. It can relieve pressure on strikers who are having a dip in form and not scoring as freely as they like to. If you can pop up with a goal from set plays now and then that will help.

“At the other end if you can be strong and not give away goals that will set you up.”

But the rangy centre-half insisted that going through the motions was not enough and the players had to mean business when in the box.

He said: “Set plays are about your own desire to throw your head in where it hurts. We have managed to cut out a lot of silly goals that we have given away in the past and it is simply down to individual responsibility.

“You can work on set pieces until you are blue in the face but the bottom line is having the desire to ensure the person you are marking doesn't get away.”

Knowing the opposition is usually a big plus and De Vos has first hand knowledge of Argyle manager Paul Sturrock, who signed him for Dundee United from Darlington.

De Vos said: “Paul Sturrock is someone I know very well. I had three great years working with him in Scotland and he certainly helped me develop as a player.

“He is one of the most tactically aware managers there is. He is very intelligent when it comes to the opposition doing his homework on the other team, and knows all the strengths and weaknesses.

“He played for Dundee united under Jim Mclean another clever football man, and he has done very well in his managerial career. I'm sure he will be successful in his second stint at Plymouth.”

While De Vos is expected to partner Alex Bruce, the back four will be without the suspended Sito Castro, giving Dan Harding a chance to return at left back with David Wright returning to right back, although Fabian Wilnis could also come into the equation.

Jon Walters will be given a fitness test on a sore thigh today while Billy Clarke is rated very doubtful.

Alan Quinn will make his debut tonight in midfield, while Liam Trotter serves the third of a three-match ban.

Ipswich Town squad: Alexander, Supple, Wright, Wilnis, Harding, De Vos, Bruce, Naylor, Legwinski, Quinn, Miller, Garvan, Walters, Lee, Counago, Roberts, Peters, Casement.

Plymouth Argyle: McCormick, Connolly, Timar, Doumbe, Sawyer, Clarke, Abdou, Folly, Halmosi, MacLean, Easter, Fallon, Jujhiewicz, Hodges, Summerfield, Larrieu, Nalis, Mackie.

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