Youngsters to be blooded at St James Park?

IPSWICH TOWN: Blues manager Roy Keane is expected to name a young bench and perhaps blood a couple of youth players in tomorrow’s Championship game at Newcastle United (kick-off 3pm).

Tom Eastman is tipped to follow Billy Clark and make his first team debut this season while Luke Hyam caught the eye in Monday’s Suffolk Premier Cup win over Needham Market while Troy Brown has been a steady performer at the back in second team matches.

But Keane stressed today that his side needs experience to make an impact next season.

Keane, who will again be without the injured Damien Delaney and David Healy and the ill Carlos Edwards and may well play Jaime Peters at left back, said:

“We need a bit more experience in the squad, that’s why I’m hoping to have a very busy summer.

“It is experience that will get you out of the Championship, and we’ve certainly lacked that.

“And we need more goals. Every manager would have a striker on their wish-list who could get you 20-odd goals a season.

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“Even if there is, they are likely to be expensive in terms of transfer fees and wages.

“So we have to be very, very careful about who we target over the next few weeks. We have to be realistic, who we think we can get and who would fancy coming to Ipswich.”

And talking of Scunthorpe’s Gary Hooper, who Town have been linked with, Keane went on: “We’re aware of any striker that’s doing well.

“But if we’re interested in any player, the first thing I will do is pick up the phone to their manager.

“I can’t talk about a player, because I’d just be contradicting myself.”

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton has injury worries for Saturday’s game, and he talked about these this morning:

“We’re still hopeful that Jonas Gutierra and Fabricio Coloccini can play some part,” said Houghton.

“They are back in training and we will assess their fitness further.”

Fitz Hall is unfit with young Tamas Kadar possibly getting a start in central defence on Saturday.

Tomorrow’s likely squads

Newcastle United: Harper, Williamson, Enrique, Simpson, Routledge, Barton, Guthrie, Nolan, Carroll, Smith, Kadar, Best, Ameobi, Pancrate, R Taylor, Krul, Lovenkrands, Coloccini, Gutierrez.

Ipswich Town: B Murphy, D Wright, McAuley, Smith, Peters, O’Connor, Rosenior, Walters, Norris, Leadbitter, Colback, Garvan, Martin, D Murphy, Wickham, Counago, Eastman, Clark, Hyam, Brown, R Wright.

Mr C Boyeson (East Midlands)

Ipswich league record at Newcastle United

P20 W3 D8 L9 F19 L33

N (SQUARE) ROY Keane must be getting soft – we had a number of correct entries pre-selecting his team for the 1-1 draw with Doncaster last weekend.

Well done to Luke Skippings, Dale Browning, Scott Askew, Scott Askew and Chris Wright.

It seems to be getting too easy, but we’ll keep the fun going to the end of the season – send your e-mails to elvin.king@eveningstar.co.uk by 1.30pm on Saturday.

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