O'Callaghan back in Town after bust-up

GEORGE O'Callaghan has rejected the chance to extend his loan spell at Brighton and is back in Ipswich.The Blues midfielder decided not to stay at the Withdean after a row with Seagulls chairman Dick Knight over O'Callaghan spoke up for a number of Albion players who have not had contracts sorted out and it looks likely that striker Bas Savage will follow him out of the door when his current deal expires on January 1.

By Derek Davis

GEORGE O'Callaghan has rejected the chance to extend his loan spell at Brighton and is back in Ipswich.

The Blues midfielder decided not to stay at the Withdean after a row with Seagulls chairman Dick Knight over

O'Callaghan spoke up for a number of Albion players who have not had contracts sorted out and it looks likely that striker Bas Savage will follow him out of the door when his current deal expires on January 1.


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Matt Richards returned to Portman Road last week and is undecided about going back to Brighton, while Dean Hammond is another who could leave after Albion dragged their heels in offering him a new deal.

Richards is included in the Blues squad that looking for their first away win in nine months when they go to Coventry today.

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Irish midfielder O'Callaghan will not play for Brighton in today's trip to Yeovil after suffering a slight groin strain in the 3-0 Boxing Day defeat at Millwall but hopes he can force his way back into the Ipswich first team reckoning as early as next week.

O'Callaghan's performances at Brighton earned him many man of the match awards and recognised by a number of other clubs at home and abroad.

Irish side Bohemians are keen to sign him, while Spanish teams have also made overtures to his agent but O'Callaghan is heartened by Town' manager Jim Magilton's quotes in the EADT last week when he said he would have no qualms about playing the midfielder.

O'Callaghan last night said: “I enjoyed playing regularly at Brighton but I spoke with the gaffer and decided it is right to try again at Ipswich and try to get first team action.

“They are a good bunch of lads at Brighton and I enjoyed playing with them so I hope things work out for them.”

Magilton confirmed he has invited Lauren Robert to Portman Road and is waiting on an answer. He is also tracking Drogheda United centre half Graham Gartland, while Plymouth's David Norris is understood to remain his number one target.

He said: “Like every manager in the country I'm looking for that extra bit of quality to take us on but I'm not desperate. I have irons in the fire and we are hoping if that happens it will make us that bit more competitive.”

Magilton has changed his mind about including Richard Naylor in the squad for this evening's game at Coventry.

Magilton said: “It is just too early for him. I thought about bringing Richard along but he has not played football for a long time and in an ideal world we would like to get a couple of games under his belt first.”

derek.davis@archant.co.uk

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