Liam determined to overcome body blow

LIAM Trotter is determined to overcome the body blow inflicted on to his blossoming career by top referee Mark Halsey.This is despite the Premier League official refusing to admit that he made a mistake.

Elvin King

LIAM Trotter is determined to overcome the body blow inflicted on to his blossoming career by top referee Mark Halsey.

This is despite the Premier League official refusing to admit that he made a mistake.

The 19-year-old says he has recovered well after being controversially sent off by Halsey after 24 minutes of the FA Cup tie against Portsmouth at Portman Road on January 5.

“Yes, I know what damage it could have done,” said Trotter, who has just agreed a new contract that will keep him at Portman Road until the summer of 2009.

“I had just broken into the first team and thought I was doing well in a test against one of the better sides in the country.”

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If former Northgate School pupil Trotter had carried on impressing against Pompey he could by now have become a first team regular.

But apart from being on the bench at Crystal Palace last month when Alan Quinn went lame in the warm-up, Trotter has not featured again in the Town team.

“It was not a sending off tackle, and the referee made a mistake,” said Trotter. “It sticks in my throat that he has not admitted his mistake after seeing a replay of the incident.

“Okay, he may have seen it differently at the time, and I can accept that. But I expected the red card to have been rescinded once Mr Halsey saw the video.

“When I was walking off the pitch in a state of shock, Pompey defender Sol Campbell tried to console me by saying that my tackle merited no more than a yellow card.

“With the help of my family, the manager and the players I got over it pretty quickly, which was important.

“A mistake was made during the game, but it was not my mistake.”

Since Trotter's red card, Ipswich have strengthened their midfield with the transfer window signings of David Norris, Velice Sumulikoski and Alan Quinn.

But this has only heightened Trotter's resolve to make an impact in the next 16 months until his new contract expires.

“Having come into the professional game late, I am well aware how privileged I am,” said Trotter, who joined Ipswich after being recommended by Needham Market manager Danny Laws when Laws was running the West Suffolk College football scheme.

“And with respect to Millwall, my loan spell at the Den made me realise what a great club Ipswich Town are.

“Playing in the reserves is fine when you're a young player who's progressed from the youth team.

“But when you've had a taste of the first team it's horrible going back to that level.

“That's the position I'm in and others like Owen Garvan and Danny Haynes.”

Trotter has been a regular 17th man, and is hopeful of playing his part in the run-in to the end of the Coca-Cola Championship season.

Magilton today expressed his faith in Trotter saying: “He is banging on the door.

“Liam has been outstanding, and I would like him around. There has been plenty of interest from clubs keen on taking him on loan, but I don't want to see him leave the building.

“The same applies to young striker Jordan Rhodes, while Chris Casement has been unlucky this season, and I also still have great faith in him.”