Jim's pledge to Blue Army

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today had a heartening message for the 6,000 Blues fans going to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today had a heartening message for the 6,000 Blues fans going to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

“We will make a game if it,” said the Town boss as he looked forward to the fourth round FA Cup game against Premier League aristocrats Chelsea.

Coca-Cola Championship mid-table Town will be rank outsiders against a London-based side who reached the final of the Champions League last May and are expected to welcome back the likes John Terry and Didier Drogba.


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England captain Terry trained yesterday after missing Saturday's league game with a back spasm while Ivory Coast star striker Drogba has been left out of the squad for the last two matches by manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.

His spell in exile is expected to end at the weekend - and it could back fire on Ipswich whose manager Magilton is eagerly looking forward to pitting his wits against an opposite number who has won the world cup with Brazil.

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“Saturday gives my players a chance to challenge themselves against some of the best players in the world,” said Magilton.

“And I know they are relishing the chance, and it gives me a chance to pit my wits against a former World Cup-winning manager.

“And after our outstanding result at Crystal Palace on Saturday we will make a game of it.”

With Chelsea's shaky home form and defeats against Championship sides Burnley and Barnsley in the Carling and FA Cups within the last 12 months, Ipswich's largest turnout of supporters since the UEFA Cup game in the San Siro against Inter-Milan in December 2001 could be in for a London away day treat.

Drogba was made to train with the reserves last Wednesday but is now back in favour.

Town's pursuit of Club Banfield for left-sided 22-year-old Luciano Civelli remains on-going with the latest reports in Argentina saying that the Blues will pay US$800,000 (around �500,000) to Banfield.

Town are again said to be paying for 50 per cent of the player's rights, although Town are looking to buy him outright. Civelli holds an Italian passport so would not be required to apply for a work permit and could be at Portman Road by the time the transfer window closes.

Lino Goncalves, a 19-year-old who is on trial at Ipswich from Glenn Hoddle's soccer academy in Spain, could play in this afternoon's reserve league fixture against Northampton at Playford Road.

But Bruno Bosi, a defender who was on trial last week, is reported to have gone back to Brazil although Magilton has said that he would like to see him in a competitive game situation.

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