O’Dea will always remember

DARREN O’Dea will never forget his awful blunder that paved the way for Norwich City’s thumping victory in last month’s East Anglian derby.

DARREN O’Dea will never forget his awful blunder that paved the way for Norwich City’s thumping victory in last month’s East Anglian derby.

But the Ipswich Town defender believes that he will become a better player for the experience, however harrowing it might have been.

O’Dea is set to shrug off a sore hamstring to play against basement dwellers Preston at Deepdale this afternoon. It is a crunch game for both clubs.

While the Lilywhites are marooned at the foot of the table, Town are on a current dismal run of eight defeats in their last 10 league games.

O’Dea believes that Town can turn it around, and he himself is determined never to repeat his mistake from Carrow Road – his failure to clear the ball led to Grant Holt running through for the first of his hat-trick of goals in a 4-1 defeat.

“I don’t ever forget mistakes like that, because no on wants to end up in that situation again,” explained O’Dea.

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“Hopefully I will become stronger for it.

“He (Holt) definitely handled the ball, but I wasn’t coming off the pitch annoyed with the referee. I was coming off the pitch annoyed with myself.

“I’m not looking back thinking it was a free-kick, but that I should have cleared it.

“We lost the whole game fair and square, and you just have to get on with it. I’m not the type who forgets these mistakes, because if you forget you might make them again. That’s a mistake I don’t want to make again,” added O’Dea.

It has been a big week for the Celtic loanee, because his girlfriend gave birth to their first child, a daughter called Lucia, in Glasgow.

O’Dea revealed: “It’s been a difficult time, because I haven’t trained much.

“I’ve been up and down a little bit and my mind has not been settled. That’s natural, but once you go on the football pitch nothing else should affect you, except the game.

“It’s not been the ideal situation, but these are no excuses from me. Our recent poor run has fully down to the players.

“Rather than let the manager down, the players have let themselves down.

“I’ve got my own pride. You feel disappointment for yourself, rather than just the manager. But of course we want him (Keane) to stay.

“We’re not thinking about tomorrow, we’re all thinking about today. You have to remember that this is the exact same team that was winning at the start of the season.

“You win three games and you’re in the top six and you’re all heroes; you lose three games and you’re bottom three and everyone wants to kill you,” added O’Dea.

The 23-year-old’s loan deal expires next month, but he has not ruled out a longer stay in Suffolk.

Meanwhile, Town should welcome back their skipper, David Norris, for this afternoon’s crunch fixture. Norris missed last Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Swansea due to illness.

Centre-half Damien Delaney could also be recalled, after being suspended for the Carling Cup win over West Brom and then left out of the squad against Swansea.

There is also a chance that Mark Kennedy might be involved against Preston, following a niggling hamstring injury, although the trio of Gareth McAuley, Connor Wickham and Luke Hyam remain on the treatment table.

Plymouth loanee Rory Fallon might be given his full debut.

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