Preston set to field kids against Town
IPSWICH TOWN: Preston North End manager Phil Brown is expected to give youth a chance when his relegated side visits Portman Road (kick-off 3pm) for a Championship fixture this afternoon.
With financial restrictions set to accompany Preston’s drop down to League One, Brown is likely to depend more on his younger players.
And he will be taking a look at a few of the players he plans to use next season when the curtain comes down on the Portman Road 2010/11 campaign.
Danny Mayor, fresh from scoring a midweek hat-trick in the reserves’ 3-2 win at Burnley which secured them the Totesport West Division title, can expect a start.
There could be run-outs too for Jamie Proctor, Bailey Wright and Danny Devine.
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Wright’s involvement will rely on him recovering from a knock picked up in the reserves.
Ipswich have also won their reserve league thanks to a run of impressive results towards the end of the season, but Blues boss Paul Jewell is unlikely to make too many changes from the rather makeshift side that finished Monday’s 4-1 defeat at Swansea.
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Gareth McAuley and Darren O’Dea are definitely out and Connor Wickham (ribs) and Jimmy Bullard (fluid on the knee and shoulder) are major doubts.
Brown, who took Hull City to the Premier League, said: “My team selection for the visit to Ipswich could be a surprise to one or two people.
“But for me, this is about the future of Preston North End and not the past.
“The players we were assessing for being in a development squad should we have stayed in the Championship, could now be playing a major role in the first-team squad.
“I’m talking about Danny Devine, Bailey Wright, Jamie Proctor, who have been knocking on the door, together with Danny Mayor and Adam Barton, who were already plying their trade in the first team when I arrived.
“Conor McLaughlin springs to mind as well – hopefully he’ll be fit for the start of pre-season training.
“Next season we will have a young team, but at the same time, have a sprinkling of experience and nous.
“Couple those things together, the energy which the kids provide and the knowledge of the experienced players, and it’s a recipe for a good squad.”
Today’s likely squads
Ipswich Town: Murphy, Lee-Barrett, Fulop, Edwards, Brown, Delaney, Kennedy, Carson, Leadbitter, Norris, Healy, Drury, Scotland, Peters, Civelli, Murray, Hyam, O’Connor, Whight, Eastman, Bullard, Wickham.
Preston North End: Turner, Morgan, Barton, Carter, Nicholson, Ashbee, Treacy, Brown, Ellington, Hayes, Hume, Russell, Wright, Mayor, Lonergan, Devine, Proctor, Johnson, Leather.
Referee: Mr K Wright (Cambridgeshire)