Town can secure massive scalp

BLUES coach Steve Foley can secure a massive scalp at Preston as Ipswich start a series of six-pointers away from home.A win at Deepdale would take Town above Preston on goal difference but defeat would widen the gap between them and their play off rivals.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

BLUES coach Steve Foley can secure a massive scalp at Preston as Ipswich start a series of six-pointers away from home.

A win at Deepdale would take Town above Preston on goal difference but defeat would widen the gap between them and their play off rivals.


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In the continued absence of Jim Magilton at the pre-match press conferences, Town's technical skills coach Foley said: “It would be a good scalp to get.

“These are genuine six-pointers because we are not just clawing our way up but we are pulling teams back too. If we win we go above them but they will be saying they can go six points clear of us.

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“The players will be up because it is a tough game to go to. We just have to play right on the day.”

Preston have struggled on their travels but have lost just twice in the Championship at home and will be smarting after a 3-1 loss at Southampton last weekend.

Foley said: “They are a bit Jekyll and Hyde but they are up there so we have to treat them with respect. Alan Irvine is a very good coach who is well organised so it will be a battle.

“Neil Mellor may need a couple of games but will probably be on the bench. Jon Parkin is always a handful and I like Richard Chaplow in midfield.

“Paul McKenna's a decent player too so we know they have good players as has shown by the points they have.”

With 12 games to go, including away trips to Wolves and Reading to come in March, Foley is confident the Blues can bridge the gap between 10th and a place in the top six.

He said: “The games can't come quick enough.

“I'm not a fortune teller but I'm confident. We have a quarter way to go and 36 points which is a lot of points.

“While we are on a good run you want to keep that going.”

While Ipswich look to win promotion Foley fears his old club Norwich may struggle to survive in the Championship.

He said: “Like our situation at the top you start running out of games. They probably need to start showing promotion form to get away from trouble but anything is possible in football.

“At Ipswich we have goal-scorers and I don't see that at Norwich.”

“If it works for them bringing in old players like Bryan Gunn and Ian Crook then they will say absolutely brilliant only time will tell.”

Ben Thatcher has emerged as an injury doubt for Town's visit to Preston.

The left back injured a foot in training earlier this week and will be assessed again tomorrow.

If he fails to make it Moritz Volz could return to right back with David Wright moving over to the left.

Iv�n Campo is also back in full training but it unlikely to be considered for the game at Deepdale.

Nor will Danny Haynes who is making good progress from a hamstring injury but is more likely to be ready for the home game with Southampton on Tuesday.

Speaking at the pre-game press conference skills coach Steve Foley said: “Preston are a good side who are right up there and have a good home record. We have been playing well away from home and go there looking to continue where we let off against QPR.”

* SHANE Supple's proposed loan move to Grimsby has hit a snag.

Ipswich have blocked the switch after a move to bring in a back up keeper hit a hurdle.

Supple still hopes to join the Mariners but may have to wait until next week by which time the Blues' will have secured cover.

Foley added: “It will be one on and one out. We don't want to leave ourselves short.”

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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