Jim after a positive start

UPBEAT Jim Magilton is confident his other side can maintain their impressive unbeaten run of 16 matches at Fortress Portman Road even if they are up against the free-scoring league leaders.

By Derek Davis

UPBEAT Jim Magilton is confident his other side can maintain their impressive unbeaten run of 16 matches at Fortress Portman Road even if they are up against the free-scoring league leaders.

While Magilton has the utmost respect for West Brom, and their management duo of Tony Mowbray and Mark Venus, he is confident the team that do so well at home can conquer.

Magilton said: “West Brom have players all over than can hurt you. They can win games for you whereas where we have one or two they have three or four.


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“We have an opportunity to start the New Year in a very positive way. I don't fear anyone at home and I feel to play against the top side is big step but we can do something.

“It is a tough ask but we have to present ourselves and force our game on them and stand up and be counted.

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“They will come here full of confidence so it is a test of character for us. They have had great results ere and we have one or two injuries but from adversity comes a chance to do something.”

Magilton has a couple of injury worries and a suspension for Tommy Miller to contend with but is confident he has enough in his squad to cope.

He said: “Sylvain has a chance, as has Liam Trotter and Gavin Williams for that place. That is good because the game could be won or lost in that position.”

With Alex Bruce ruled out with an abductor problem and Jason De Vos struggling with bruised ribs and an ankle, Magilton is looking at shuffling his defence again.

Fabian Wilnis will stay at centre half and could be joined by Wright if De Vos doesn't make it, while Sito Castro could return at full back.

Magilton said: “Jason is a doubt. Jason took a knock on his ankle and will also have an X-ray on his ribs to see if there is a real problem there.

“Alan (Lee) has Achilles tendon pain and is a doubt too.”

That could pave the way for Jordan Rhodes to step in and Magilton said: “Jordan has looked bright when he has come on. He continues to develop and improve so we will see how he is. I would have no qualms about starting him.”

Dan Harding, dropped from the 16 at Coventry, is also in contention, although Matt Richards, who played at left back for Brighton and can play left half, is also pushing for a place.

Magilton said: “Dan Harding is still very much part of our plans. His game has improved but we need to develop him further.”

Today's squads

Ipswich Town: Alexander, Supple, Wright, Casement, Harding, Sito, Richards, Wilnis, Bruce, De Vos, Legwinski, Garvan, Trotter, Williams, Haynes, Walters, Clarke, Counago, Lee, Rhodes.

West Brom: Kiely, Steele, Hoefkens, Pele, Cesar, Robinson, Albrechtsen, Barnett, Greening, Morrison, Koren, Gera, Brunt, Teixeira, Beattie, Phillips, Miller, Bednar.

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