Marcus believes Town can still do it

GOALS from Tommy Miller, Pablo Counago and Marcus Bent, gave Ipswich Town a come-from-behind win at Gillingham and piled pressure on the play-off hopefuls, writes Derek Davis.

GOALS from Tommy Miller, Pablo Counago and Marcus Bent, gave Ipswich Town a come-from-behind win at Gillingham and piled pressure on the play-off hopefuls, writes Derek Davis.

Bent came off the bench to bang in his second goal in as many games as Town won 3-1 and believes Wolves and Nottingham Forest, who are the two sides ahead of Ipswich at the moment, will wobble as the regular season approaches its climax.

He said: "Wolves are a big side but, and no disrespect to them, they can crumble. Forest are a young side without much experience so we will see how they cope. Every year in the first division there is a club who pushed through at the end and, with Norwich also winning, we know we have to keep picking up three points."

Bent, who is still looking to hit to form after an injury-ravaged season, is confident Town's tight team spirit, experience and a desire to make up for last year's relegation flop, will stand them in good stead. He said: "We are the same players which came down and we want to rectify that. It means a lot to us as players and to the club that we go up. We have not had any new players, though it has been good to see the youngsters come through. We have stuck together and, while we know the club is in a bad situation, we know we can make it better by going up."


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The former England Under-21 international tasted promotion success with Blackburn but barely figured the following season before Ipswich snapped him up in November 2001 for £3 million. He said: "Helping to win promotion to the Premiership with Blackburn was the high point of my career.

"To get into the Premiership was brilliant, although then not to get much of a chance was not so good. But Ipswich gave me a chance and I proved I can score goals in the Premiership was great but then I got kicked in the teeth again as we got relegated. Everyone wants to play in the Premiership and we want to achieve that with Ipswich."

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Although Darren Bent and Pablo Counago were chosen ahead of him as starters, Bent made his mark after replacing his namesake in the 68th minute. He wrapped the game up with a superbly-taken third goal after a neat combination with Miller, curling in a low drive from 18 yards. He said: "It is hard being left out but the manager has got a difficult job to do. Pablo and Darren have 30 goals between them this season so they deserve to play and I can't really complain. If I keep doing what I did by coming on playing my part and scoring then I will keep knocking on the Gaffer's door."

Going on a consistent and prolific scoring run is a forté of Bent's and with two goals in as many games, his finishing could prove pivotal for Town's play-off aspirations.

Bent praised Gillingham's resistance: "People were thinking it was going to be an easy game for us as they had lost a few players, including Barry Ashby, who I know and is a rock in defence. But they suffered a big loss last week and wanted to put things right at home. They made it hard for us and it was a bit edgy first half.

n Ipswich Town's remaining games: April 5, Nottingham Forest (h); April 12, Coventry City (a); April 18, Portsmouth (h); April 21, Rotherham (a); April 26, Wimbledon (h); May 4, Derby County (a).

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