That's the wonder of Owen

IT'S surely now or never for Ipswich Town's out-of-favour midfield man, Owen Garvan.

Carl Marston

IT'S surely now or never for Ipswich Town's out-of-favour midfield man, Owen Garvan.

On the day when ex-Town manager Jim Magilton joined in the mad scramble to sign Garvan, for his current club QPR, the 21-year-old maestro was scoring an absolute wonder goal for the Reserves.

Garvan connected first time with Ed Upson's corner, sending an 18-yard shot into the net via the underside of the bar to wrap up a 3-1 win for Town's second string at Luton Town.

Ironically, the Dubliner should not have even been at Kenilworth Road yesterday - he should have been playing in Armenia instead!

However, a late booking during Republic of Ireland under-21's 1-1 draw in Georgia, last weekend, had ruled Garvan out of yesterday afternoon's European Championship group qualifier in Armenia, which the Irish lost 4-1.

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Keen to impress the watching scouts, as well as the Town management, Garvan returned to England to play the full 90 minutes for the Reserves.

Town return to action at home to Sheffield Wednesday this Saturday (5.20pm kick-off), and it will be very interesting to see if manager Roy Keane decides to include Garvan in his squad.

Keane has insisted in past weeks that Garvan has not yet “done enough” to force his way into the first team reckoning, despite skippering the Irish Under-21s in several internationals.

He has been frozen out of the senior picture since the 2-0 defeat at West Brom on August 22, when he was substituted at half-time. That equates to 13 matches in wilderness.

A trio of Championship clubs - Cardiff City, Nottingham Forest and Scunthorpe United - have been linked with Garvan over the last few days, and yesterday it was the turn of Magilton's QPR to join the fray.

Garvan netted seven goals last season, when Magilton was at the helm, so it's no real surprise that the former Town boss is interested in bringing the talented midfielder to Loftus Road.

At the moment, any move would have to be a loan deal, before the transfer window reopens (for permanent transfers) in January.

Fellow senior players Liam Trotter and Pablo Counago were also on target for Town Reserves yesterday. Midfielder Trotter, who was left out of the first team squad in the last game at Reading, netted the opener after 18 minutes.

Counago, a substitute in the 1-1 draw at Reading, netted the second from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute, before Garvan bagged a quality third on 80 minutes.

Centre-half Tommy Smith, who has missed the last two Championship games with a hand injury, which required surgery, returned to action yesterday.

n Former Town target Richard Wood was last night on the verge of signing for Coventry City.

Centre-half Wood, keen for a move away from Sheffield Wednesday, had been linked with Town before the transfer window closed in August. He was again named as a possible signing last month.

But the Sky Blues have always been leading the chase to snap up 24-year-old Wood, who is the Owls longest-serving player and also the former club skipper.

Wood was at the Ricoh Stadium yesterday afternoon, to discuss personal terms. He will have to sign on loan until the transfer window reopens in January, when he will then make the deal permanent.

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