Williams wants to prove fitness first

GAVIN Williams wants to sign an extended Ipswich Town contract - after proving his fitness.The 27-year-old midfielder is expected to keep his place in the Blues side when they take on Southampton in the Coca-Cola Championship at Portman Road tonight.

By Elvin King

GAVIN Williams wants to sign an extended Ipswich Town contract - after proving his fitness.

The 27-year-old midfielder is expected to keep his place in the Blues side when they take on Southampton in the Coca-Cola Championship at Portman Road tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).

He made his return at Cardiff on Saturday and came through with just “the normal aches and pains”. Williams ruptured ankle ligaments in a friendly against Panathinaikos in early August.


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“My current contract runs out in the summer, and no one is going to hand a new one to someone who is not fit,” said Williams. “I am desperate to stay with Ipswich, and after playing a number of matches to prove my fitness I expect to get down to talks.

“Last season I was involved in 32 first team games, which I think is par for the course.

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“With the bulk of this season still to run I want to be involved as much as possible as there are set to be some exciting times ahead.”

With the take-over deal by wealthy businessman Marcus Evans set to be confirmed within the next few days, Ipswich manager Jim Magilton should have money at his disposal to strengthen his squad by the time the January transfer window opens.

But Williams is one current player who looks assured of keeping his place as he has the ability to be among the best midfielders in the division.

“I came through the Cardiff match with just the usual aches and pains,” added Williams, who has a new set of wider boots on order.

“If they come in time I will be able to wear a pair. If not I will put the insole required to protect my left foot into a training shoe as I did at Cardiff.

“I have been watching from the stands as Ipswich have been in tremendous form at home, and with two games in the next five days we plan to keep this run going.”

Williams was having a test today to confirm his fitness for tonight, while Jon Walters was having a groin injury assessed.

He felt it after the 1-0 defeat at Cardiff, but is expected to be fit for selection with Magilton likely to keep an unchanged side despite the poor display at Ninian Park.

The XI he fielded on Saturday is arguably his strongest current line-up, although Billy Clarke is standing by to replace Walters and Liam Trotter is putting in a strong case for another midfield start.

It is a big match for Town skipper Jason De Vos as the Canadian defender is set to make his 150th Ipswich appearance.

The 33-year-old has been a regular since signing from Wigan in May 2004, often playing when the odds seemed stacked against him, and benefiting from a foot operation in the spring.

“I feel as though I have a new foot,” said De Vos, who can always be relied upon to lead from the front.

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