Matt admits he'd love to return

MATT Holland last night revealed he would love another stint at Ipswich Town. The Charlton midfielder, who led the Blues to play-off success in 2000 and then to fifth in the Premiership and two consecutive seasons in the UEFA Cup, visits Portman Road as a speaker on Thursday night but admits he would relish pulling on a Town shirt once more.

By Derek Davis

MATT Holland last night revealed he would love another stint at Ipswich Town.

The Charlton midfielder, who led the Blues to play-off success in 2000 and then to fifth in the Premiership and two consecutive seasons in the UEFA Cup, visits Portman Road as a speaker on Thursday night but admits he would relish pulling on a Town shirt once more.

Holland said: “I would love to return to Ipswich Town. You never know what is around the corner, but I would really like to go back in some capacity.


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“I'm enjoying my football at Charlton, playing in the Premiership is where everyone wants to be. But my time at Ipswich was extra special. The few years of success we had was a magical time for everyone involved. We had a fantastic team, with incredible spirit and I have fabulous memories of those times.”

Holland still has this and one more season to run on his Charlton contract and is in no hurry to move out of the Premiership. But shortage of games through injury, and non-selection, have left him needing to get some regular first- team experience and he will seek to hold talks with Charlton boss Alan Curbishley when he returns from international duty.

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Holland went on as a second half substitute in the Republic of Ireland's 1-0 World Cup win over Cyprus on Saturday and hopes to be involved in their crunch qualifier against Switzerland tomorrow night. Speaking from the Irish team hotel in Dublin last night, Holland said: “I have had a few knocks earlier in the season and was not playing. The team have been doing exceptionally well and it is hard to get back in the side.

“I have played a few reserve games now, and in the Carling Cup and for Ireland, so I will speak to the manager about things when I get back.”

Holland admits going out on a short-term loan is a possibility and that would alert Ipswich, who are known to be looking for a temporary replacement for the injured Ian Westlake, who is out until Christmas.

Holland said: “ I would consider a loan move somewhere to be playing regular and get full match fitness but I would also want to look at coming back to Charlton.

“I'm no spring chicken, but I want to stay playing in the Premiership for as long as possible.”

If Holland were to come to Portman Road, the Blues would probably not be able to afford all his wages and would look to do a deal with Charlton, who have former Town star Darren Bent to thank largely for their current high position.

After scoring for the Republic in the World Cup in Korea, Holland would relish a second visit to football's biggest tournament.

But, with France playing Cyprus, Ireland would have to beat Switzerland to ensure a top-two finish.

He said: “It would be brilliant but first we have to beat Switzerland. It is a cup final in itself but there is everything to play for.”

After Wednesday's draining experience, Holland faces another nervous night on Thursday when he appears at Portman Road along with Simon Milton and John Wark in 'An Evening With…Matt Holland'.

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