Town star’s future at Portman Road takes a twist

DARREN O’Dea could be the first player casualty of the new Ipswich Town era after admitting today that his future is now up in the air.

He was a member of the back four – playing alongside Gareth McAuley at the heart of the defence – in yesterday’s 7-0 defeat at Premier League Chelsea.

The man on loan from Celtic was expecting to stay at Portman Road until the end of the season.

But he said today: “It was all agreed that my loan would be extended and I would be with Ipswich until the end of the season.

“But this was under the management of Roy Keane, and I don’t know now what will happen under a new manager.

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“I want to stay, but I will have to wait for it to be sorted and I’m just concentrating on playing Arsenal in the Carling Cup at Portman Road on Wednesday and then the Championship game at Millwall on Saturday.”

There must be fears that unless Town improve they could be on the end of another hiding against the Gunners.

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O’Dea put on a brave face when he added: “We must enjoy the challenge. It will be a great occasion in front of a full house and with our fans behind us.

“It’s a massive task, but a result against Arsenal would give us a massive boost. As a form side Arsenal if anything will provide stiffer opposition and it certainly will not get any easier for us.

“We must learn from playing against top players and the saddest thing would be not to learn from our mistakes and get well beaten once again.

“We were okay for 30 minutes. We knew they would have chances and we knew we needed to put our bodies on the line.

“We switched off for a moment and before we knew it they had scored two goals.

“I expected Chelsea to be good, but they better than I thought they would be. When you play top teams you cannot afford to switch off for a moment.”

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