McGreal returns for reserves

JOHN McGreal makes an important step back towards the first-team reckoning with a run-out for the reserves against West Ham tonight.

JOHN McGreal makes an important step back towards the first-team reckoning with a run-out for the reserves against West Ham tonight, writes Derek Davis.

It will be the 30-year-old defender's first game since breaking down following his last return to action after a knee ligament operation.

The former Tranmere Rovers star tried to come back for two games in February following a two-month lay-off due to the injury sustained at Brighton in December when he had just come back from another injury.

Reserve-team boss Steve McCall last night said: "It will be great to see John back. His experience will help the youngsters out and at the same time he will get nearer to fitness for the first team, although he may still be a week or so away from doing 90 minutes. It is a bonus to have John back for the run-in and hopefully for the play-off games themselves.


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Alun Armstrong should tuck another 90 minutes under his belt as he searches for full match fitness following a lay-off due to a fractured wrist. He plays alongside Dean Bowditch who went on as a substitute in the 4-2 win at Coventry City on Saturday.

West Ham may include out-of-favour striker Paolo Di Canio and midfielder Michael Carrick who is recovering from a stomach injury and needs a run-out.

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McCall added: "It should be an entertaining game with two teams who like to get the ball down and play."

Kick off at Portman Road is 7pm.

Squads

Ipswich Town Reserves: Pullen, Mitchell, Boardley, Hogg, McGreal, Collins, Westlake, Bloomfield, Abidallah, Murray, Armstrong, Bowditch, Flack, Chaffey, Peat, Reid, Atay.

West Ham Reserves from: Van der Gouw, A Ferdinand, Blewitt, Delaney, Ward, McClenahan, D Noble, McMahon, Carrick, M Cole, Pearson, Di Canio, Sofiane, Akinsete, Forde, Laws, Bunce, Tattam.

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