‘We’ll be fired up for Arsenal’ - Kennedy
IPSWICH Town fans will see the players at their best when Arsenal come to Portman Road tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) for the first leg of the Carling Cup 2010/11 semi-final.
So says the most experienced player in the Town squad Mark Kennedy.
New manager Paul Jewell has decided to take a back seat until tomorrow leaving Ian McParland in charge on a caretaker basis with coach Tony Loughlin alongside him.
“Both have a huge amount of respect in our dressing room,” said Kennedy.
“And they will get us prepared in the right way and supporters will see 100% from every member of the team.
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“The mood is good and we’re looking forward to the match after an excellent training session with Ian and Tony.
“Some players don’t get the chance to play in cup finals – we have and we deserve it as we are here on merit.”
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Kennedy admitted that after the third Chelsea goal, Ipswich fell apart at the weekend and he feels for some of the younger players.
“We have a very young squad something that Roy Keane wanted to chance and the last few days will have been difficult for them.”
Kennedy hopes that Jewell will get a better chance to make an impression than Gary Johnson, who has left Peterborough after nine months.
“Nine months – give me a break,” added Kennedy. “Loyalty has gone out of the window.
“Paul Jewell has been successful at Bradford City and Wigan and has a very good reputation and I’m sure he’ll be his own man dishing out his own methods.
“Roy Keane has fantastic attributes and the game needs him and hopefully he’ll be back involved soon.
“It is us players who have to take the responsibility for his dismissal after making too many mistakes on the pitch both individual and collectively.”
Former Town star Kevin Beattie has been Town’s lucky charm in their Carling Cup run having worked for BBC Radio Suffolk every round. And he’ll be beside commentator Brenner Woolley at tonight’s match.
Town have arranged their two outstanding Championship games with a trip to Doncaster City on Tuesday February 15 and at home to Watford on Tuesday March 15.
Ipswich players were left so shell shocked after Sunday’s 7-0 defeat that offers by the Chelsea players to swap shirts after the game were not generally taken up.
And to make the day complete the team coach broke down on the way home leaving the players stuck on the motorway for an hour!
Tonight’s likely squads
Ipswich Town: Fulop; Eastman, McAuley, Delaney, Smith, O’Dea, Kennedy; Lambe, Norris, Healy, Edwards, Wickham, Murray, Priskin, Lee-Barrett, Civelli, Peters, Hourihane, Scotland, Brown.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Eboue, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs, Walcott, Fabregas, Eastmond, Denilson, Arshavin, Bendtner, Wilshere, Rosicky, Eastmond, Vela, Emmanuel-Thomas, Fabianski, Chamakh, van Persie, Nasri, Nordtveit, Miquel.
Referee: Mr M Atkinson (West Yorkshire)