Smith aims to impress against the Cobblers

TOMMY Smith has insisted Ipswich won’t take Northampton Town lightly – as Paul Jewell’s squad players take centre stage tonight.

The World Cup defender is among those looking to impress the Town boss in tonight’s Carling Cup first round match and prove they have a big part to play in the coming Championship season.

And that opportunity might come sooner rather than later for the New Zealand international with only three centre backs at the club and Damien Delaney struggling with an ankle injury.

Smith, who will partner Ivar Ingimarsson against the Cobblers, said: “We all want to be playing in the first 11 and tonight will give us a chance to show him (Paul Jewell) what we have got and hopefully we can take our chance and win the match.

“There is a bit of pressure for me because I want to prove to him that I can be in his plans. It is always nice to be a bit nervous heading into a game and you want that pressure to perform well. That is what we play the game for, to be playing every week.”

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The likes of Smith, Colin Healy and Nathan Ellington are all set to start with their manager calling on them to prove a point and book Town’s place in the second round.

Jewell said: “There will be a few changes and we will give some players who haven’t played a lot of football a game. It is up to them to make it difficult for me to leave them out in the future.”

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And for Smith, the chances could come thick and fast – even if Jewell expects Delaney to recover for Saturday’s first home league match of the season against Hull City.

After missing the fantastic 3-0 win at Bristol City on Saturday’s curtain-raiser, Smith said: “I am always disappointed not to playing, I’d like to play every game if I could. But it is a squad game and it is a long season with 46 league games and the cups on top of that.

“Not every player can play in all of those games – it is all about waiting for your chance and taking it when it comes. It is always going to be in the forefront of my mind that he (Delaney) may not make it and I will prepare myself the same as I do for any game. If I get the chance to play, hopefully I will take my chance. And if Damo is fit, so be it.”

- Full match preview coming up on

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