Relegation not an option for my old club says Owen Garvan

Owen Garvan has insisted his old club must do all they can to stay in the Championship or risk being marooned in the third tier of English football for years.

The one-time Town favourite, controversially sold by Roy Keane two years ago, is currently loving life with league-leaders Crystal Palace.

But on the eve of Mick McCarthy’s first match at Portman Road at home to Burnley, Garvan is saddened by seeing the side he progressed through the youth ranks with currently bottom and five points from safety.

Some supporters believe it might ultimately be beneficial for Ipswich to get relegated and then start again after watching bitter rivals Norwich City progress through the leagues in recent seasons.

But Garvan said: “I don’t agree with people saying that it might be a good thing to go down – you need to stay in the division. For me, it is vital they stay in the league.

“It is tough times, but with Mick coming it, he will be straight and tell people if they are not doing their job. He has done it at the highest level and I honestly think he is the man to take them forward.

“Hopefully for them, this season he will get them safe and then he can really bring in his own team and his own stamp on the team.”

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Garvan has been backed up by Town keeper, and Blues fan, Scott Loach who believes the dressing room would already take finishing fourth-bottom in the Championship – despite the season being just three months old.

Loach said: “We know we’re in a dogfight and we have just got to get out of it now.

“Palace are a great side and they have got a cracking new manager, but only 60-odd days ago they were bottom of the league. That just shows you in this league what can happen.

“But we’re not getting ahead of ourselves and thinking of promotion or anything like that. I think at the moment the lads would take 21st place come May 4. We have got to accept that we’re in a relegation fight.”

The leakiest defence in the Championship will tomorrow come up against Europe’s most lethal marksman when Charlie Austin leads the Burnley attack against the side he could have joined.