Magilton insists Miller is in on merit

BLUES boss Jim Magilton has rejected suggestions that Tommy Miller is in the side due to their friendship.A section of Town fans have been unhappy at Miller's contribution since he signed as a free agent after leaving Sunderland.

Derek Davis

BLUES boss Jim Magilton has rejected suggestions that Tommy Miller is in the side due to their friendship.

A section of Town fans have been unhappy at Miller's contribution since he signed as a free agent after leaving Sunderland. However, Magilton dismissed the idea he was playing him out of sentiment after the two were team-mates earlier in the decade.

Magilton said: “If I didn't think Tommy Miller was good enough then he wouldn't be anywhere near the place.

"People forget he has had 12 months of reserve team football and I think he is still getting his legs back.

"I think Tommy has taken on more responsibility as well and his game has improved because of it. We want Tommy to play to his strengths and when you get him around the box then he is a very good finisher.

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"We didn't have enough bodies for him to do that but now we have and in Shumi we have got someone who likes to sit and get his foot on the ball this will help Tommy."

Velice Sumulikoski's arrival allows Miller to play his more natural attacking game and get in and around the box, but Owen Garvan is also more of an attacking midfielder and the two are in competition for a starting place against Blackpool today.

Alan Quinn remains a doubt with an ankle injury, and that would allow Danny Haynes to keep his place.

David Wright will be hoping to get his place back at right back but that would mean either Richard Naylor or Alex Bruce missing out.

Blackpool have less of a choice at the back with Latvian Kasparss Gorkss suspended which means Michael Jackson retains his place and the captaincy.

Keith Southern is hoping to keep his place in midfield at the expense of Michael Flynn, while Ben Burgess and Steve McPhee are battling to start alongside on loan Manchester City striker Paul Dickov who has netted three in three games.

Ipswich Town squad: Bywater, Colgan, Wright, Harding, Sito, Bruce, De Vos, Naylor, Trotter, Sumulikoski, Miller, Garvan, Haynes, Morris, Quinn, Walters, Counago, Lee.

Blackpool squad: Rachbuka, Gerrard, Barker, Evatt, Jackson, Crainey, Coid, Taylor-Fletcher, Jogensen, Southern, Flynn, Green, Morrell, Hoolahan, Dickov, McPhee, Burgess.

Referee: Fred Graham (Essex)