Makin in for rough ride

CHRIS Makin can expect bucket-loads of stick tonight when Ipswich Town visit his new club Leicester City - and Fabian Wilnis has vowed to lead the way.

By Derek Davis

CHRIS Makin can expect bucket-loads of stick tonight when Ipswich Town visit his new club Leicester City - and Fabian Wilnis has vowed to lead the way.

The former Oldham, Marseilles, Sunderland and Town defender scored an own goal to deprive acting Foxes manager Dave Bassett of all three points at Coventry City on Saturday.

As expected, the gaffe has provoked little sympathy from his former team-mates.

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Wilnis said: “Chris is definitely in for some stick. I will be first among quite a few to mention it, especially as it was a really scruffy goal.”

Light-hearted banter apart, Wilnis, who could get the nod in the left-back spot after serving his three-match ban following a sending off against Plymouth, expects a difficult night.

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With Micky Adams gone, the players have a new manager to impress, although they don't yet know who that is going to be, and caretaker-manager Bassett has shown he is ready to make changes.

“The players will want to impress the new manager. Scowie (James Scowcroft) was on the bench but got on and, if he plays, he will be looking to keep his place and show not just Dave Bassett but whoever is going to come in for the long term.

“He could well be sitting in the stand and the players know that so they will be trying even harder than they might usually do.

“This division is hard enough as it is without opponents having extra incentives to do well,” said Wilnis.

Makin, who rejected the offer of a two-month trial period at Portman Road to prove his fitness for a spell with the Foxes, which eventually earned him a long term contract, is not the only former City player who is known to Town.

Scowcroft has turned out to be a bargain £3m buy from Ipswich, who have missed him over the past three seasons.

Matt Elliott impressed during his loan spell at Portman Road and helped take the Blues into the play-offs last season, while Dion Dublin is a friend of Wilnis.

The Dutchman said: “I know a lot of the players quite well and they are another team that have a gang of giants up front.

“(David) Connolly is more the quick-running man, with Dublin the target man, so we know what to face.”

The young-looking 34-year-old returns from suspension tonight the fittest he has ever felt.

The Dutchman has amazed coaching staff with his record results in physical tests after spending his three-game break under the watchful tutelage of fitness guru Simon Thadani.

He said: “I'm surprised at how fresh and fit I feel. I have used the three weeks off to work hard in the gym and have been doing plenty of running. Not only do I feel fitter than ever but the records prove it.

“Even Simon was surprised and impressed at how well I did in them, but I must say he has been brilliant working with me. He has made sure I have done all the right things, including getting the right rest as well, which is very important.

“I can honestly say I have been working harder than the other lads, who have been playing, and now I'm ready for selection if called on.”

Wilnis who has been through every emotion possible since joining Ipswich from Dutch side De Graafschap for a bargain £200,000, late in 1998, believes Town are in a great position to snatch that all-elusive promotion.

He said: “We are not having to play catch-up as we have done the past couple of seasons, but if we want to stay up there we have to win games like this away from home.

“Our home form has been good but we need to pick up more points away.”

Should that goal be achieved, it is fair to assume Wilnis will also be mentioning that to Makin, next May.

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