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IBRAHIMA Sonko has warned his good friend Ivar Ingimarsson that he faces a fight to reclaim his place in the heart of Ipswich Town’s defence.
With the Icelandic international set to return to full training today, Ingimarsson will be eyeing a place in Saturday’s side against Blackpool.
But Sonko, who formed a commanding partnership with Ingimarsson at Reading, has heaped praise on Damien Delaney after the Irishman’s performance in the 2-1 win over Leeds United.
Following the departure of regular centre-back partner Gareth McAuley in the summer, Delaney has endured an uneasy start to the season, culminating in the club’s heavy losses against Southampton and Peterborough.
But the 30-year-old looked far more assured with the experienced Senegalese international alongside him against Leeds rather than marshalling youngsters Tommy Smith or Jack Ainsley.
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And Sonko said: “There are some superb defenders here and we’re all trying to get in the same team. I played with Damo (Delaney) against Leeds and really enjoyed it.
“He was talking and commanding, has experience and knows what he is doing. It’s a relief to play with someone who enjoys defending as much as you do.”
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Ingimarsson (thigh) and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (ankle) are set to return to full training today along with Lee Bowyer, who joined up with the squad yesterday following his hamstring injury.
Sonko and Ingimarsson formed a rock-like, and ever-present, defensive duo when Reading won the Championship with a record number of points in the 2005/06 season.
Of his former Royals team-mate, Sonko said: “It’s nice to be back with him. We had dinner last week and I told him I always hoped we could play again together.
“We’ve got the chance to do it here but obviously I need to be fit, he needs to be fit and then we need a bit of luck to bring us together again.”