Marcus wants hat-trick

By Derek DavisChief Football WriterMARCUS Stewart is nervously anticipating his return to Portman Road and has a hat-trick in his sights.Not so much three goals in a game, which would be his first triple since stunning Southampton at St Mary's while with the Blues, but a string of victories against his old club.

By Derek Davis

Chief Football Writer

MARCUS Stewart is nervously anticipating his return to Portman Road and has a hat-trick in his sights.

Not so much three goals in a game, which would be his first triple since stunning Southampton at St Mary's while with the Blues, but a string of victories against his old club.


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A sixth-sense warned Stewart that old and new clubs would meet. He said: "It is a bit of a strange one. Before the draw was made I looked at the numbers and I knew Ipswich's and Sunderland's and I had a funny feeling we would get them.

"It is a long way to travel but it will be nice to go back there for the first time since I left and see some friendly faces. It will be my first time back and I will be nervous but it will be good to go back and will bring back some happy memories.

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"We have a job to do and that is what I will be concentrating on. Ipswich are a good side but we have already beaten them once this season.

"We have to play them another two times so hopefully we will be make it a hat-trick."

The striker who went to Sunderland in August 2002 for £2m, has used his foresight to wise effect in the past. Three years ago he told the EADT that a certain young striker would one day replace him in the first team; Darren Bent has done just that – although possibly not in expected circumstances.

Stewart is a big admirer of Town's Academy system, which has seen so many good youngsters come through, and the Ipswich style of play.

He said: "They play football properly.

"The youth development is brilliant, they bring young players through playing football as it should be played. That has been the key to their success but if we can stop them and frustrate them we can have a good day down there.

"If we let them play the ball around there is no better team in the First Division."

That won't stop him searching for a repeat of the win at the Stadium of Light in September when the Mackems won in a best-of-five-goals thriller.

Meanwhile, Mick McCarthy has signed Kevin Cooper on a free transfer from Wolves. Former Reading striker Jamie Cureton is on trial at Sunderland this week.

The Black Cats are so short of fit players they had to cancel a Durham Challenge Cup match with Bishop Auckland this week.

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