Matt's promotion double wish

MATT Holland today picked out an Ipswich Town/Charlton Athletic double on the eve of his first game against the Blues since he departed Portman Road in the summer of 2003.

By Elvin King

MATT Holland today picked out an Ipswich Town/Charlton Athletic double on the eve of his first game against the Blues since he departed Portman Road in the summer of 2003.

The 33-year-old will be looking to improve Charlton's home record at the Valley tomorrow against an Ipswich side seeking to end a run of 14 away matches without a win.

Holland was a huge fans' favourite during his time with Ipswich when he captained the side into the Premiership and then into Europe.

He only rarely missed a match and chalked up 46 goals in 314 appearances before being sold to Charlton for £750,000.

“An ideal scenario for me would be for both Charlton and Ipswich to go up to the Premier League this season,” said Holland, who still lives just outside Colchester.

Most Read

“It will certainly be an emotional afternoon for me - and a big game for both sides.

“We have won our last four away matches without conceding a goal, but we have lost our last two home games.

“And I know that Ipswich will be out to put an end to their poor away run.”

Holland has just returned to full fitness after undergoing a cartilage operation and then suffering a calf strain.

“We have a very different side to last season and it takes time to adjust,” added Holland, who was pleased to see Ipswich will soon benefit from major investment.

“This will increase their potential considerably and Jim Magilton is the man to lead them forward.”

Magilton took over as Town skipper from Holland when the Republic of Ireland international left Portman Road and it has come as no surprise that his former team-mate is a hit in management.

“Jim was destined to become a manager,” said Holland. “He is a great guy and I wish him all the best. He has always been a leader, and I am looking forward to meeting up with him again.”

Ipswich-based striker Chris Iwelumo is set to lead the Charlton front line. The only doubt concerns Grant Basey who has a groin strain while Kelly Youga is serving a four-match ban.

Third-placed Charlton are expecting their biggest crowd of the season with Town fans having been allocated the whole of the Jimmy Seed stand.

Tomorrow's squads

Charlton: Weaver, Mills, Powell, Fortune, Sodje, Ambrose, Holland, Zheng, Reid, Sam, Iwelumo, McLeod, Semedo, Varney, Randolph, Bougherra, Basey.

Ipswich Town: Alexander, Wright, Wilnis, Bruce, De Vos, Harding, Walters, Garvan, Miller, Williams, Clarke, Counago, Lee, Supple, Haynes, Legwinski, Roberts, Trotter.

Referee: Mr C Penton (Sussex)

The Valley has been covered by a sheet since Wednesday night to protect it from heavy rain that has been forecast for the Charlton area and there should be no doubt about the game going ahead.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter