TEAM NEWS: Luke Hyam and Nigel Reo-Coker remain sidelined for Millwall visit.
IPSWICH Town central midfield duo Luke Hyam and Nigel Reo-Coker remain sidelined for tomorrow’s visit of in-form Millwall to Portman Road.
Reo–Coker has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury sustained in the 1-1 home draw with Peterborough, while Hyam was unavailable for last weekend’s 2-1 win at Bolton due to the calf injury he picked up in the 3-1 home win over Nottingham Forest.
“They’re both injured again,” confirmed Blues boss Mick McCarthy, speaking this lunchtime. “Nigel came out and trained this week, but he’s not going to be fit. Luke, likewise. It must have been a real nasty knock he took because it’s turned out to be longer than we thought.
“I can’t really put a timeframne on their return. I had hoped they would both be fit for this weekend, but they’re not. I won’t tip them for next weekend – I’ll just hope they are fit.”
Andy Drury replaced Hyam in the starting line-up at the Reebok Stadium, while right-back Bradley Orr moved into central midfield for the latter stages of that match to great effect.
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“Bradley didn’t finish training yesterday because of a stiff neck,” revealed McCarthy. “I’m hoping he’ll be okay – I think he will be.
“Luke Chambers also went home this morning feeling poorly. He’s not felt right for a couple of days. He went out and started training and then stopped. We’re just hoping he’ll be okay.”
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He added: “I’m considering all my options at the moment. You seem to be doing okay, then you get two or three injuries and suddenly you realise that we’re fairly thin on the ground. I’m considering everything for tomorrow.”
Danny Higginbotham is on stand-by to replace Chambers as Tommy Smith’s central defensive partner, while youngster Elliott Hewitt – yet to make his Blues debut – has been on the bench in recent weeks as a back-up right-back.
Millwall completed a comprehensive double over Ipswich last season and come into tomorrow’s game off the back of a 13-game unbeaten run. Kenny Jackett’s side have conceded just two goals in their last eight games and kept four successive clean sheets.
Ipswich have moved five-points clear of the relegation zone following back-to-back victories over Nottingham Forest and Bolton, but McCarthy has warned supporters not to get too carried away.
He said: “We’ve got a really good team coming here tomorrow in Millwall, then we go to a tough old place in Elland Road next weekend. Let’s just keeping focusing on things game-by-game.
“I want to keep a lid on things, I want to keep expectations as low as possible. Let me tell you, our hopes are high, but you can get a couple of good results and everyone starts getting carried away. You can easily get slapped down in two or three more games. That’s what I don’t want to happen.”
– For full match preview, see tomorrow’s EADT.