Trotter: Big Ben's a class act

BEN Thatcher's two year disciplinary tightrope will end today if he can avoid a red card for violent conduct.The Ipswich defender has had a 15-match ban hanging over his head for 24 months after forearm smash when he was playing for Manchester City left then Portsmouth midfielder Pedro Mendes concussed.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

BEN Thatcher's two year disciplinary tightrope will end today if he can avoid a red card for violent conduct.

The Ipswich defender has had a 15-match ban hanging over his head for 24 months after forearm smash when he was playing for Manchester City left then Portsmouth midfielder Pedro Mendes concussed.

Should he avoid the wrath of Somerset referee Steve Tanner today in his home debut for Town, Thatcher will start afresh with a clean sheet.

That will be a relief for Liam Trotter who is relying on him to learn the left midfield role he has been given.

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Rookie midfielder Trotter admits he doesn't real know what he doing playing wide left but is sure he will get better quickly, especially with Ben Thatcher guiding him.

Trotter said: “It is good to have Ben behind me because he is always talking to me. He is very experienced and with me out of position it is good to have someone tell me where to be throughout the game.

“He is class act and I'm looking forward to him playing more.

Trotter admits playing on the left is not easy for him but he will improve in time.

Trotter said: “I'm happy enough to play there although it is difficult because I have not played out there before getting to the first team.

“Anyone watching can see I'm not comfortable because I'm not really 100 per cent confident or really sure what I'm doing yet but I'm learning. The more I play out there then the better I will get.”

Wolves winger Michael Kightly is ready to face Ipswich hardman Thatcher and after playing alongside him briefly over the summer insists it doesn't faze him.

Thatcher played a trial game for Wolves at Bolton earlier this month, and Kightly is relishing the tussle with the former Welsh international and is used to rough treatment.

Kightly said: “That tackle is something in the past and I'm not fazed by that at all.”

Kightly has thrived against rough stuff before, after being given an early 'welcome' by Albion's Paul Robinson in a Black Country derby, he is relishing a tough game at Portman Road.

He said: “I'm not bothered by his reputation. I'll roll up my sleeves and have a go myself if I'm kicked up in the air.

“I'd much rather have that, than a game where I know it's going to be too easy. That won't be the case tomorrow. Some players hide if they get whacked, but that's not me - it spurs me on even more.

“If anything it makes me more determined to do better. So bring it on - I'm not fussed with that. It's not nice to be kicked, but it's nice if players are targeting you to stop you.”

“It will be a good test if he's playing. He's been around and he's a good pro. It's nice to be tested against someone of that experience.

“Hopefully I can do well. We may even have been at Tottenham at the same time but I was only a schoolboy then so I'm not sure.”

Trotter is confident Town can get a result today, no matter if he is playing or not.

He said: “We are all one team and we all have one goal and that is to get into the Premier League. I will play where the manager sees fit and if that means just away games then fine. Of course I would be disappointed not play in home games but I will not be knocking on his door.

“All I can do is my best when I do play and in training and play where the manager tells me.

“Wolves are difficult to beat but they c an be inconsistent. They can win 4-1 one week and lose 4-1 the next so hopefully we can reverse the scoreline of last week and beat them 4-1.

“It is an open league so we have to be at our best every week so we can win more than we lose.”

Wolves will be without skipper Joey Craddock with Darren Ward likely to take his place in defence while Karl Henry will wear the arm-band.