Three wins would transform position

BLUES first team coach Bryan Klug has stressed the importance of getting back on track at home after successive away defeats.Victory over Leicester tonight would catapult the Blues back into the top 10 and they would be breathing down the necks of the play-off contenders.

By Derek Davis

BLUES first team coach Bryan Klug has stressed the importance of getting back on track at home after successive away defeats.

Victory over Leicester tonight would catapult the Blues back into the top 10 and they would be breathing down the necks of the play-off contenders.

Klug said: “Confidence is an important factor. Not getting the right result away from home drags players down.

“So home games, with the record we have and getting to play the way that we know we can, are massive for us.

“We have three homes games in a row now and the beauty of this league is that if you win three games you can move up a long way in the table.

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“That goes for anyone and that is why the league is so tight.”

Klug is wary of the visit of the Foxes who are now led by recently-appointed Ian Holloway. He said: “We are expecting a really tough game against Leicester.

“We don't want to dwell on our away form. Our immediate concern is these three home games.

“Leicester came here and killed us with two goals last season and they will come here now looking to end our record which is a big motivation for any team.”

Klug, the former Ipswich Town player and Academy director, was dismayed at what happened against Charlton at The Valley on Saturday and is concerned by the team's inconsistency.

He said: “The first half was probably as poor as I have known in the 20 years I have been associated with the club. The second half was quite magnificent and therein lays our problem.

“We are not as bad as our away form suggests and we are maybe not as good as the home results suggest. We are probably somewhere in between.”

But he refused to blame the formations that Town deploy away.

He added: “You shouldn't read too much into systems. It is about how players perform. It is not about systems, it is about personnel and how they are applied.”

There is a fair chance that popular Pablo Counago will get the start at home tonight and Klug hinted that he could feature more regularly on the road as well in the future.

Klug said: “Pablo is a very good player. He has taken a bit of time to readjust to playing here in England after playing in Spain but at home he has been magnificent. In some away games it has taken him time to be adjusted.

“He scored an outstanding goal on Saturday and showed he is readjusting so hopefully he can perform at that level in all games.

“He has shown a real maturity, has trained well and is scoring goals.”

The future of a number of players is in question after manager Jim Magilton's outburst following the 3-1 defeat at Charlton but Klug offered a more reflective view.

He said: “Straight after a game is probably not the best time to make those sort of assessments.

“As far as I'm concerned the players we have here work very hard and do very well.”

Teenage striker Jordan Rhodes is pushing for a place in the first team squad and with Town so good on the attack at home this could be a good opportunity for him.

Klug said: “He has been doing very well and has shown he is a fantastic finisher. We are creating chances and Jordan is definitely not far away.”

While Jon Roberts suffered a dead leg at Charlton and Gavin Williams was struggling with an infected toe, both are expected to be available tonight.

Gary Roberts is suspended while Alex Bruce is still recovering from an abductor muscle strain but both hope to be back for the weekend.

Tonight's squads

Ipswich Town: Alexander, Supple, Wright, Harding, Sito, Wilnis, De Vos, Legwinski, Trotter, Williams, Garvan, Miller, Clarke, Walters, Haynes, Rhodes, Counago and Lee.

Leicester City: Fulop, Neilsen, Stearman, McAuley, Kisnorbo, Mattock, Hayes, Kenton, King, Clemence, Chambers, Hume, Cort, N'Gotty, Sheehan, Odhiambo and Fryatt.