Jim to make full use of squad

THE benefits of Jim Magilton's summer spending should be demonstrated today when the Blues boss makes full use of his ultra-competitive squad.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

THE benefits of Jim Magilton's summer spending should be demonstrated today when the Blues boss makes full use of his ultra-competitive squad.

With Moritz Volz suspended and injury doubts over Jon Walters and Gareth McAuley, Magilton is planning changes.

He said: “Gareth is desperate to play and we will give him every chance but we won't risk him if he is not right, especially with a game on Tuesday.

“Moritz is suspended so Pim Balkestein and Ben Thatcher come into consideration.”

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Magilton is also considering his options up front, knowing whoever he leaves out of the starting XI can still make an impact later in the game.

He said: “Jon Walters has had a niggling hip injury and not trained this week as he needed a rest anyway.

“I have choice and decisions to make.

“Will I spit the dummy out after last week, I was upset like everyone else but we will see.”

Magilton could go with Jon Stead and Pablo Counago who impressed after replacing Walters and Kevin Lisbie or stay with a settled front line.

Magilton said: “Our front players have made a real impact when they have come off the bench.

“The impact off the bench is every important and I have never failed to make a substitute and when the time is right I will do.

“The lads who have sat on the bench have always come on and been ready.

“Before every game I tell them to watch the game and be ready and they have.”

Town will be looking to get back on track after losing at bottom club Doncaster Rovers, while Derby won 3-0 against Sheffield Wednesday.

The two teams are level on points and goals scored and both have lost just two league game sin the past 13.

Magilton said: “Derby County are on the rise after a very disappointing season last year and a slow start to the Championship they are starting to come into their own.

“Paul Jewell has a balanced side with lots of goal-scoring threats up front.

“They come here full of confidence. There are a lot of parallels between us and it is set up to be a cracking game.

“We didn't play well last week but it is a chance to right those wrongs.

“The crowd can play a big part as they did against QPR, which was a good disciplined performance by us.”

Concerns about the bad weather which has been forecast and the propensity to concede from corners and free kicks will be a test for Magilton's side but he is confident they can rise to the challenge.

He added: “Set plays are massive, look at the international goals in the week, we need to score more from set plays and be wary of them against us and not give away silly free kicks.

“We have dug in more this year and shown more character and we have shown a real togetherness and grittiness. If the weather is bad they are going to have to show that again.”

Darren Ambrose will make his second home bow after rejoining the club from Charlton.

Ipswich Town squad: R Wright, D Wright, Thatcher, Bruce, Balkestein, Naylor, McAuley, Shumulikoski, Garvan, Miller, Quinn, Ambrose, Haynes, Norris, Walters, Rhodes, Lisbie, Counago, Stead.

Derby County squad: Carroll, Bywater, Connolly, Stewart, McEveley, Nyatanga, Powell, Davis, Green, Addison, Commons, Barazite, Kazmierczak, Ellington, Hulse, Villa, Zadkovich.