McAuley set to return to Town line-up

IPSWICH Town team captain Gareth McAuley is set for a return to the team for tomorrow's Coca-Cola Championship game against Sheffield United at Portman Road (kick off 3pm).

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town team captain Gareth McAuley is set for a return to the team for tomorrow's Coca-Cola Championship game against Sheffield United at Portman Road (kick off 3pm).

The central defender has been out for the last three matches with a hamstring problem, but Blues' boss Jim Magilton today confirmed that he would like to see the Northern Ireland international back in the side.

Town need to beat the Blades to maintain their hold on a promotion place after losing two of their last three matches including a 2-1 reverse at Birmingham on Tuesday when they were completely outplayed for the opening 30 minutes.

Magilton said: “Perhaps we need a bit of freshening up and having been loyal to my players in recent weeks I will have a look around today before deciding what side to name.

“Gareth (McAuley) I would like to have back in the side if he is fit.

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“He is a front line header of the ball and we have missed him.

“Alex Bruce scored at Birmingham which was nice and I feel that Gareth gives us something extra and he had been playing well when he suffered his injury.”

McAuley is expected to be fit with Magilton saying that Tuesday's match was a little too soon for him but he was expected to train normally today.

Jon Walters is still troubled by his thigh/hip problem and the club are trying to get to the bottom of it. Magilton said: “With the number of games we are playing it has not been easy to identify the injury fully but he is still troubled by it and we will see how he is.”

David Norris has been having treatment and was training today and will be assessed as to whether he can return, following his dead leg, to face the Blades.

“When we have a player of the capabilities of Moritz Volz not in our 16 on Tuesday it speaks volumes about the strength of our squad,” said Magilton.

“We need to continue our home form from our last two victories against QPR and Derby, and to take a leaf out of Birmingham's book.

“They started off so sharp and so brightly on Tuesday and having done their homework on us took us a little bit by surprise.

“This is how I would like to see us start matches and hopefully we can do that against Sheffield United, when our supporters will again have a big part to play.”