Top six finish is predicted for Town

IPSWICH TOWN: Jack Colback today had a comforting message for Blues fans.

“I expect Ipswich to be in the top six this time next year,” said the 20-year-old Sunderland loanee.

The indications are that the midfielder will be back with the Black Cats in the Premier League next season having benefitted from becoming a Town regular over the last six months.

His one-year loan comes to an end in the summer and he has three more Ipswich games to play – at home to Doncaster Rovers on Saturday at champions-elect Newcastle seven days later and against Sheffield United at Portman Road on Sunday May 2.

He’s looking to help Town finish on a high so that they will have plenty of momentum with which to go into the 2010/11 campaign.

“Having been here since August, I have seen the way the team has improved,” said Colback.

“The signs are there for Ipswich to push on now.

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“I fully expect them to be up near the top of the Championship next season and in contention for the top six.”

Hopes were high when Blues manager Roy Keane recruited Colback from his former club that Ipswich would follow the Back Cats’ example and gain promotion in Keane’s first year in charge.

It turned out to be the worst start to any season for Ipswich although since they won their first game at the end of October their record would see them still battling for the play-offs.

“It’s disappointing that we are not higher up the table,” added Colback.

“We have got ourselves into a position when we have threatened to really push on, but we have not taken those opportunities.

“It’s been one step forward, two steps back sometimes.”

While disappointed not have helped Town have a better year, Colback is happy with his own progress.

He went on: “Although I’d obviously wanted to help Ipswich finish higher up the table, it’s been a great education for me.

“I’m grateful to the manager for giving me a chance to play for a great club like Ipswich and I have learnt so much in my time here.

“I was told at Sunderland I needed to take a step up and play competitive football every week after playing for the reserves last season.

“And I feel I have really benefited from coming to Ipswich.

“I have played in a number of positions and it’s added up to a great learning curve for me.”

With Damien Delaney expected to be missing for the rest of the season after damaging ankle ligaments in Saturday’s 3-0 reverse at Nottingham Forest, Tommy Smith is favourite to come in and partner Gareth McAuley at the heart of the defence.”

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