‘You can discard the play-offs’ - Leadbitter

IPSWICH Town are powering up the league, but stand-in skipper Grant Leadbitter insists that you can “discard the play-offs.”

IPSWICH Town are powering up the league, but stand-in skipper Grant Leadbitter insists that you can “discard the play-offs.”

Town entertain fellow in-form side Hull City at Portman Road this afternoon, on the back of four wins and a draw from their last five league matches.

Suddenly, from squatting in 20th spot, just three points clear of the relegation zone, Town are up to 13th in the table and have cut the gap between themselves and the top six to 11 points.

Town’s dramatic transformation, in terms of results and performances, has coincided with new manager Paul Jewell’s arrival on the Portman Road hot-seat, in succession to Roy Keane.

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The change in fortunes has prompted some Town fans to start mentioning that familiar phrase - “the play-offs” - but Leadbitter, who will again take on the skipper duties in the absence of David Norris this afternoon, is not getting sucked into that line-of-thought.

“You can discard the play-offs,” confirmed Leadbitter yesterday.

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“They are a long, long way off. I suppose if we win our last 16 games, then we will have a chance, but they are a long way off. There are a lot of teams above us.

“We have got to concentrate on winning the next few games. I’m not looking at the play-offs.

“A month ago, everyone was talking about relegation, so you can’t look too far ahead. Less than three or four weeks ago, everyone was worrying, but now because we have won a few games, everyone is excited.

“We just need to calm down,” added Leadbitter.

Club skipper Norris will continue to miss out through injury, while fellow midfielder Jimmy Bullard, on loan from Hull, is not allowed to play against his parent club, an agreement that was part of his move to Town.

That should mean a first Football League start for Drury, following his move from Luton Town last month.

Leadbitter revealed: “I’m looking forward to playing alongside Andy. He has a hunger about him and I have been very impressed.

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