Makin braced for hostile reception

CHRIS Makin is ready to take the heat for George Burley and pile the misery on Joe Royle as he returns to Portman Road with his second club in seven weeks, writes Derek Davis.

CHRIS Makin is ready to take the heat for George Burley and pile the misery on Joe Royle as he returns to Portman Road with his second club in seven weeks, writes Derek Davis.

The former Blues defender endured a hostile reception when he last visited Suffolk and was substituted in Leicester City's 2-1 defeat by Town.

He made his feelings known about his situation at the Walkers Stadium in the EADT and hours later signed on loan for Burley's Derby County.

He has yet to be on a losing side in the six games he has played for the Rams as they have built up an unbeaten run lasting 10 games.

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The former Sunderland, Marseilles and Oldham defender know he will get another tough time on Saturday but is ready for the abuse.

Makin said: "To be honest, I'm looking forward to going back again.

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"I expect I will get all the boos but that's fine, I will take the grief and let the Gaffer get all the applause.

"I will just smile and get on with it, although perhaps this time it won't be so bad because I'm with Derby and not Leicester, who I left Ipswich to join."

Makin is looking to quieten the Blues crowd with his first goal in 150 matches, although he admits that no one should hold their breath.

His last goal was for Sunderland on the final day of the 2000-2001 season in the 3-1 loss at Spurs and Makin never scored in any of his 92 games for Ipswich.

He said: "I hear Fabian (Wilnis) wants to get his first goal of the season too but, for either of us to score, we have to get past each other so we could end up rubbing each other out.

"You know, I don't wander past the half-way line much, although I have to admit I feel a goal coming – it is about due."

Derby's away form has been exceptional of late, with four wins and a draw in their last five games, and Makin believes the pitch and the opposition will suit the Rams.

He said: "The pitch at Pride Park is pretty ropey, to be honest, and I am very much looking forward to playing on Ipswich's once again.

"We play a typical George Burley style, plenty of getting the ball down and passing. It will be a great game between two very good footballing teams."

Makin admits hopes of automatic promotion are a bit rich but believes Derby can put a dent in Town's challenge too.

He said: "A top two finish is a bit optimistic for us but we are still looking to go unbeaten for the last eight games.

"The only problem is we have not played for some time and that could have an effect. But this is the big push for both teams and we will be coming to Ipswich looking to win."

The Rams have used a 4-5-1 formation in 10 of their past 11 games, with Grzegorz Rasiak operating as the lone striker and Tommy Smith and Marcus Tudgay in wide attacking midfield roles.

With Marco Reich out with an ankle injury, Lee Holmes could figure for Derby after starring alongside Dean Bowditch in the England Under-19s team over the weekend.

Defender Mo Konjic missed training again and is a doubt, with Pablo Mills on stand-by the replace him.

Ipswich have no injury worries ahead of Saturday's tussle, with skipper Jim Magilton a certainty to regain his starting place.

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