Naylor likely to go up front

RICHARD Naylor is likely to be asked to add his considerable presence up front tonight at Cardiff City as the Blues look for their first away win since beating Leeds United two months ago.

By Derek Davis

RICHARD Naylor is likely to be asked to add his considerable presence up front tonight at Cardiff City as the Blues look for their first away win since beating Leeds United two months ago.

With Sam Parkin out until March after ankle surgery, and Adam Proudlock still not 100% since jarring a knee a fortnight ago in the reserves, Naylor will revert to a centre-forward role.

Naylor has scored 40 goals for Ipswich, mainly when starting up front, but has also knocked in a few as centre-half.


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Proudlock will be given plenty of opportunity to prove his fitness but Nicky Forster is likely to be up front, unless Blues boss Joe Royle decides to go with just one up front and a five-man midfield.

The Blues have found goals hard to come by this season, with just 22 in 20 games, 10 of those away.

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Only Millwall have had less attempts on goal than Ipswich, who have managed a total of 164, with 84 of those on target, with one shot hitting the woodwork.

Defensively the Blues have slipped of late and have not kept a clean sheet in 10 attempts.

With Naylor being utilised up front, Jason De Vos, who missed six week's action after cracking ribs in the opening day of the season against Cardiff when he tangled with Cameron Jerome, will have Fabian Wilnis partnering him.

Gavin Williams is a certain starter on the right side of midfield and it will be a special game for the Pontypridd-born, Wales international.

The on-loan West Ham player, who scored in Town's last away game at Coventry City, is a Bluebirds fan but has never played at Ninian Park, although he was a regular on the terraces.

If City win, they will move back into the play-off places and take sixth spot from Burnley and Royle is not surprised they are among the high-flyers.

He said: “I expected Cardiff to do well. They have signed some good players and have the facility to bring players in.

“Dave Jones knows his stuff and he has brought in and, with Jerome up front, they were always going to be a danger.”

Ian Westlake failed to make the trip and Jaime Peters was added to the squad last night, which travelled to south Wales.

Although the west country has been hit by bad weather, the game at Cardiff City is not under any doubt.

The forecast for today is sunny intervals with daytime temperatures of around 6 degrees Celsius, which will drop to freezing at night.

A minute's respect will be given to George Best, with Cardiff fans being asked to 'do the Ayatollah', which mean tapping the top of the heads, while others may offer a round of applause.

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