New trio are all set to face Rushden

JIM Magilton's trio of new signings are all expected to play a part in today's pre-season friendly at Rushden & Diamonds. Neil Alexander, Tommy Miller and Pablo Couango, are all still short of fitness after joining within the past 10 days, but they need games as the Blues build up for the new campaign, which starts at home against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, August 11.

By Derek Davis

JIM Magilton's trio of new signings are all expected to play a part in today's pre-season friendly at Rushden & Diamonds.

Neil Alexander, Tommy Miller and Pablo Couango, are all still short of fitness after joining within the past 10 days, but they need games as the Blues build up for the new campaign, which starts at home against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, August 11.

Although results are less important than the fitness work and a certain level of performance, Magilton will be keen to see his side improve on the loss at Stevenage and draw against Chelmsford during the week.


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Magilton named his strongest possible 18 to play at Nene Park, with only Matt Richards and Ian Miller left behind with slight knocks. Lewis Price is not being risked as the club look to ship him out, while Gavin Williams and Dean Bowditch are longer-term casualties.

Sylvain Legwinski, Fabian Wilnis, Gary Roberts and Richard Naylor will be looking to step up their workload after being out injured.

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The Diamonds pack a punch in defence with Curtis Woodhouse, the old Sheffield United and Grimsby defender, in action after agreeing a two-year deal with the club.

Woodhouse packed in football to embark on a boxing career but after winning his debut fight on points he was suspended for hitting a police officer and ordered to do community service. During his ban Woodhouse turned out for Rushden and scored four goals in 15 games, with a short break to try and resume his pugilistic career.

Manager Garry Hill is also expected to give former Blues Academy player James Krause a run out against his old club.

The two teams have met just once before and that was 10 years ago in pre-season when Alex Mathie hit a hat-trick in an entertaining 5-3 Town win.

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