Town chief saddened by football death

IPSWICH Town caretaker manager Ian McParland leads another makeshift side into action in tonight’s Carling Cup semi-final, first leg against Arsenal at Portman Road (kick-off 7.45pm).

He faces being without Jason Scotland and Troy Brown from the side hammered 7-0 by Chelsea.

Both are very doubtful with Scotland pulling up with a sore calf in training yesterday and Brown struggling with a tight hamstring.

They will be assessed again today before the squad is finalised with youngsters Reggie Lambe and Conor Hourihane set to be added to the party that was at Stamford Bridge.

There is a chance that Luca Civelli might make a comeback after 22 months out of the game with a knee injury although McParland said: “I’ve seen bits and bobs of Luca, but it’s a big game to come back into after nearly two years out.

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“I thought about Luke Hyam, but to be fair to the new manager I cannot risk the youngster breaking down and being out for another eight weeks.

“Tamas Priskin will be in my thoughts to play up front and so will Connor Wickham and Ronan Murray, who still has a bit to learn but has the devilment and spunk to make a living in the game.”

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McParland says that Sunday’s embarrassing defeat will not affect Town tonight, adding: “I for one had a sulk on Monday, but it’s all behind us now.

“It’s forgotten about, and we move on.

“Our pride was collectively hurt, but we must put it into perspective – we were missing players and Chelsea were waiting to tank someone.”

Grant Leadbitter is suspended while Jake Livermore and Rory Fallon are cup-tied. Skipper David Norris is set to make his 100th Ipswich appearance.

McParland, who along with coach Tony Loughlan has put the players through the same pre-match routine that Roy Keane adopted, has had tonight’s game put in perspective by the sudden death of 29-year-old Macclesfield midfielder Richard Butcher, who died in his sleep Sunday night/Monday morning.

“He played for me at Notts County and his 12 goals from midfield kept the club in the Football League,” said McParland.

“He was the fittest lad in the squad and an unbelievably nice lad – everybody liked him.

“It’s very, very sad, and maybe some things are not so important in life.”

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