Keane to ring the changes

CHANGES are guaranteed as Ipswich Town bid to overcome bad travellers Nottingham Forest in a Championship encounter at Portman Road this afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

CHANGES are guaranteed as Ipswich Town bid to overcome bad travellers Nottingham Forest in a Championship encounter at Portman Road this afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

Town boss Roy Keane, during his post-match press conference at Coventry on Saturday, insisted that both centre-half Gareth McAuley and goalscorer Rory Fallon would be unable to start against Forest, due to a lack of fitness.

However, the Irishman might reconsider if either of them have displayed swift powers of recovery over the last 24 hours.

Otherwise, Damien Delaney would be the favourite to replace McAuley in the back four, with striker Connor Wickham perhaps in line to start only his fourth game of the season.

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Keane might consider other changes as well. He could recall Mark Kennedy at left-back, and either Troy Brown or Tom Eastman at right-back.

Keane explained “Gareth McAuley’s return (at Coventry) was a positive for us, most definitely.

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“But he won’t be capable of playing on Monday, and Rory Fallon won’t be capable of playing on Monday as well.

“We’ll have to see how some of the others are, who are getting back up to fitness, like Connor (Wickham).

“It was a gamble bringing Gareth straight back in, but he is an important player for us.

“We’ve thrown him in and it looks as though he came through OK. Sometimes you have to take a gamble, life is a gamble.

“Jamie (Peters) got a knock, while people like Jake (Livermore) and Troy (Brown) will be looking to be involved, as will Tom (Eastman) and Damien Delaney.

“We will make changes, because we’ve got to. There has to be.

“There are some players, who are coming back from injury, who are not capable of playing two quick games in three days, like (Mark) Kennedy,” added Keane.

While Town have won just one of their last eight league games – a 3-0 success in the snow against Leicester City in their last home match – Forest have only lost one of their last eight.

Billy Davies’ men are just two points adrift of the play-offs, after a sluggish start, although they were haunted by a dreadful away record during the whole of 2010.

In fact, they have only won two away league games since January of last year, thanks to a 2-1 win at struggling Preston in September and a 2-0 victory at promotion-chasing Cardiff in November.

Instead, it is Forest’s excellent home record that has again kept them in the play-off hunt. They have not lost a league match at the City Ground since September 2009, an impressive run stretching to 31 games.

However, they had to battle back from 2-0 down to salvage a point against visiting Barnsley on Saturday.

After that 2-2 draw, Davies insisted that his team had “deserved nothing” out of the game.


IPSWICH TOWN: Fulop, Brown, Delaney, Smith, Kennedy, Edwards, Norris, Leadbitter, Colback, Wickham, Scotland, Peters, McAuley, O’Dea, Livermore, Fallon, Murray, Priskin, Healy, Eastman, Civelli and Lee-Barrett.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST: Camp, Chambers, Morgan, Cohen, Gunter, McGugan, Tyson, Moussi, Ramsey, Earnshaw, Tudgay, Adebola, McLeary, Anderson, Majewski, Wilson, Lynch & Smith.

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