Just the tonic for Jon
SCORING against local rivals Colchester proved to be the perfect tonic for Jon Walters.The Blues striker had hauled himself off his sick bed to play for the Blues after suffering a lung infection during the international break.
By Derek Davis
SCORING against local rivals Colchester proved to be the perfect tonic for Jon Walters.
The Blues striker had hauled himself off his sick bed to play for the Blues after suffering a lung infection during the international break.
Despite also playing at QPR, Walters was still feeling ropey when he lined up against the U's on Tuesday night and, even though he was below par, he netted the vital equaliser as Town came from behind to win 3-1.
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Now Walters is now looking for a clean bill of health for Ipswich against Wolves this afternoon.
Walters said: “I spent eight days in bed ill and didn't train as any kind of viral infection for an athlete takes a lot out of you.
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“I wasn't at my best against QPR and then the Tuesday night came so quickly and I was probably not at the level I wanted to be.
“I had a sharp pain down to ribs at every breath and it was not easy.”
All the same, Walters scored and his ProZone statistics showed he ran 12km, two of those at full speed.
He added: “It was a toe poke of a goal but I have to admit it was not my best of games. The break came at a bad time really because we were all on fire but then, when it came, I got really ill. I had a viral infection in my lungs and it takes time to recover from that.
“The sharpness was still not there and I was not really at the level I was before, although my stats were good.”
There are plenty of incentives for Town to win today and Walters is also looking for revenge after Town were eaten alive by Wolves last season.
He said: “Wolves did the double over us last year and we want to take all three points off them today.
“We will take it to them as we have done every team at home this season.
“If we beat Wolves, we will have seven from nine after the break and we would have taken that when we first came back.”
Despite his dip over the past week, Walters has been excellent for Town this season and he is hoping that form will be noticed at international level by the Republic of Ireland as he qualifies through his mum and a new manager could open the door.
He said: “We have Charlie Woods, who is always at training, and he works for Bobby Robson so he knows who is available to the Republic.
“All I can do is keep my form going for Ipswich and not look beyond that.”
He also believes many of his Town team-mates could benefit by Steve Staunton's departure.
He said: “Alan Lee has been in fantastic form, so I thought he would be in with a chance, while the young lads are starting to get recognised.
“Alex Bruce has had a few call-ups and, with Don Given in charge, he may look at people like Owen and Billy for the future.
“They have done very well in the Under 21s so it would be a fantastic opportunity if they did.
“Once you get your face in, then you tend to get in squads quite regularly.”
It would be a shock if Walters didn't keep his Town place today, although there is stiff competition in the middle for places.
Tommy Miller is making good progress after an ankle injury and is named in the squad, along with Richard Naylor.
Sylvain Legwinski will hope to keep his place, although Liam Trotter is in the mix after coming off the bench to score on Tuesday.
Alex Bruce is pushing for a return at the back but faces stiff competition from incumbent Fabian Wilnis.
Ipswich Town: Alexander, Supple, Wright, Harding, Wilnis, Bruce, de Vos, Naylor, Legwinski, Miller, Garvan, Roberts, Trotter, Walters, Haynes, Clarke, Counago, Lee.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Hennessey, Stack, Foley, Collins, Little, Potter, D Ward, Craddock, S Ward, Kightly, Henry, Ofofinjana, Keogh, Eastwood, Bothroyd, Gray, Jarvis.