Skipper's injury highlights problem

IPSWICH Town's defensive frailties were highlighted today when skipper Jason De Vos revealed that he is playing from game to game.Hopes that the 33-year-old central defender's foot problems had been solved following an operation last spring have been dashed by the former Canadian international.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town's defensive frailties were highlighted today when skipper Jason De Vos revealed that he is playing from game to game.

Hopes that the 33-year-old central defender's foot problems had been solved following an operation last spring have been dashed by the former Canadian international.

“There's a lot of mileage in that foot,” said De Vos on the eve of today's Coca-Cola Championship opener against Sheffield Wednesday at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm).

“A number of bones have been broken and there is still pain.

“Sometimes it is okay, and others I have problems.

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“It is what it is, and I have to accept that.

“The operation improved the situation, but it is really still a game by game situation.

“I am not worried about it as I have faith I will get through.

“But with my contract ending next summer I cannot look any further than that.”

De Vos underwent an operation on a fractured metatarsal after being injured following the home game against Derby County on April 14.

He underwent intensive treatment during the close season and made good progress when pre-season training started in early June.

With Richard Naylor out until November with a toe problem and Ian Miller loaned out to Darlington, Ipswich only have veteran Fabian Willis as cover for De Vos and Alex Bruce.

No wonder manager Jim Magilton is stepping up his hunt to bring in reinforcements with Spaniard Cesar Navas on his wanted list but currently out ironically with a metatarsal break.

Chief scout Steve McCall and first team coach Bryan Klug watched a defender in action in the Czech Republic earlier this week, and other players are being considered.

Ipswich have conceded too many goals in recent seasons and De Vos sees the arrival of goalkeeper Neil Alexander from Cardiff as an answer to the problem.

“With respect to Lewis Price - who we all wish well at Derby - we did not have an authorative voice behind the back four,” said De Vos.

“We have spent a great deal of time looking to become more resolute at the back, and having the experience of Neil in goal will help to that end.

“We have brought in three talented players and if one or two of our youngsters come through it will be like bringing additional players to the club.

“Jaime Peters for example came on leaps and bounds at the end of last season and there are others that can prove to be revelations as well. A top six place is not beyond us, and this is our aim.”

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