Kuqi big Town injury worry
MATCH-WINNER Shefki Kuqi is doubtful for Ipswich Town's trip to fourth place Reading on Saturday.The Finland striker, already slowed by a dead leg in the first half, suffered another setback in the second when he twisted his left ankle during the 3-2 win over Coventry City on Saturday which leaves the Blues five points clear of third-placed Sunderland.
By Derek Davis
MATCH-WINNER Shefki Kuqi is doubtful for Ipswich Town's trip to fourth place Reading on Saturday.
The Finland striker, already slowed by a dead leg in the first half, suffered another setback in the second when he twisted his left ankle during the 3-2 win over Coventry City on Saturday which leaves the Blues five points clear of third-placed Sunderland.
Kuqi, who hit his 13th goal of the season after conceding a penalty, will get further treatment on the leg today and a decision will be taken on whether he needs a scan.
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Kuqi said; “I really hope to be fit for the Reading game next Saturday but we will have to wait and see how things progress.”
The striker felt hard done by over the penalty award. “I did not move my hands. The ball simply bounced up into them,” he said.
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The Black Cats beat George Burley's Derby County yesterday to keep the pressure on leaders Ipswich and Wigan, who are two points behind them.
Blues boss Joe Royle is confident Town can hold on to go up without the need of the play-offs, especially if they can maintain their home form after losing just once in the league at Portman Road all season.
He said: “It doesn't matter what others do. It is down to us to keep going, keep averaging two points a game. We will be there.
“People say this is a division where anyone can beat anyone yet there is only ourselves and Wigan who have lost five in 29 so perhaps there is a bit of consistency in the division.”
Town are expecting to sign AS Monaco midfielder Jimmy Juan this week on loan until the end of the season.
The 21-year-old, left-footed, attacking midfielder is keen to join Town from the French club who are currently third in Le Championet First Division.
Ipswich and Monaco have an informal link up which has taken two years to develop. Academy director Bryan Klug has spent time over in Monaco, while a coach from the French club was at Playford Road looking at how things are done there while Juan was training with the Blues.
Meanwhile, Canadian winger Jaime Peters has signed a pre-contract committing him to Ipswich Town.
The 17-year-old full international watched the win over Coventry from the directors' box on Saturday and will starting train at Portman Road from February 3.
Due to work permit regulations, first revealed in the EADT last November, as a player from outside the EU, Peters can not legally work in this country until he is 18 and therefore will not be allowed to play as a professional until after his birthday on May 4.