Jim's fears for Shumi

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton will be hoping that Veliche Shumulikoski comes through tonight's Macedonia's friendly against Moldova in Antalya, Turkey unscathed.

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton will be hoping that Veliche Shumulikoski comes through tonight's Macedonia's friendly against Moldova in Antalya, Turkey unscathed.

The 27-year-old has featured just once in the Blues first team since the 2-1 home defeat by Cardiff City on December 13 - the FA Cup victory over Chesterfield on January 3.

He has not sat on the bench for the last three matches, but is expected to be recalled when Town entertain Blackpool in a 'must-win' Coca-Cola Championship game against Blackpool at Portman Road on Saturday.

Alan Quinn and David Norris picked up their fifth bookings of the season at the Liberty Stadium against Swansea last weekend, and both will have to sit out the visit of Blackpool as they serve one-match suspensions.


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Shumulikoski will be in line to come back in. Magilton has Owen Garvan, Tommy Miller and possibly Danny Haynes and Jon Walters he can use in the middle of the park in a game where a failure to win would surely remove the slim hopes Town have of ending the season in the play-off positions.

Also playing international football tonight is Blues skipper Gareth McAuley who is expected to be in the Northern Ireland side for their world cup qualifier in San Marino.

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McAuley has been playing at right-back rather than centre-half for Nigel Worthington's side, but says he isn't bothered so long as he is involved.

“I'm a central defender but I'll play anywhere for my country,” said McAuley.

“There was a time when I thought I would never play for my country again, so to be involved is fantastic.

“I was so down and honestly thought that I had no international future. It went through my head that there was no point being involved in a squad when I wasn't going to play.

“But then I was picked by the manager against Sweden and my international career turned full circle.”

Alex Bruce, who is likely to leave Portman Road at the end of the season when his contract is up, is in the Republic of Ireland squad that takes on take Georgia in a World Cup qualifier in Dublin tonight.

Bruce, a regular with Ipswich in recent weeks, has two caps and came on as a substitute in their last match.

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