MATCH PREVIEW: Lee Martin set to feature against West Ham

IPSWICH V WEST HAM: Lee Martin is winning his fitness battle ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s friendly against West Ham United at Portman Road.

The midfielder has played just 30 minutes of Ipswich Town’s pre-season so far due to a thigh injury but is expected to play some part against Sam Allardyce’s newly-promoted Premier League side (3pm).

Martin’s absence through injury has led to some conspiracy theories among fans due to the fact he is now entering the final year of his contract.

Manager Paul Jewell said last season that he would employ a ‘sign or be sold’ policy regarding players entering the final year of their deals after seeing Gareth McAuley, David Norris and Grant Leadbitter leave on Bosman free transfers during his time at the club.

Speaking following Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat at Southend United, Jewell said: “The owner (Marcus Evans) has spoken with his agent. We are trying to tie Lee down with a new contract in the near future.


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“We want to keep Lee Martin but if it is not sorted out in the near future, we cannot afford to let contracts run down.”

Town’s only injury worry for the visit of the Hammers is midfielder Andy Drury after he was withdrawn on Tuesday night with a calf injury.

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The Blues have endured a disappointing pre-season so far, twice drawing against second tier Dutch opposition, beating non-league side Cambridge United (2-0), before losing to Blue Square Premier outfit Luton Town (2-0) and League Two team Southend (2-1).

Entry to tomorrow’s game will be free to all those aged under 16 accompanied by an adult, as well as members of the Junior Blues. Under-16s not accompanied by an adult can buy a ticket for just �1 if a season ticket holder, or for �3 otherwise.

Concession prices for Over-60 and Under-20 season ticket holders are �9, with non season ticket holders �10. Adult tickets are �14 for season ticket holders and �15 for non season ticket holders.

Season ticket holders must purchase their tickets before the game in order to qualify for discounted prices.

The match against the Hammers is Town’s penultimate friendly, with a trip to Essex neighbours Colchester United next Wednesday (7.45pm) rounding things off before the new campaign kick-starts with the visit of League Two side Bristol Rovers in the Capital One Cup (League Cup) on Tuesday, August 14.

The Blues start their 11th successive Championship season with the visit of newly-relegated Blackburn Rovers four days’ later.

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