No excuses - De Vos

A FULLY-FOCUSED Jason De Vos has warned there can be no excuses about tiredness now as Ipswich look to finish what they have started in the Championship.

A FULLY-FOCUSED Jason De Vos has warned there can be no excuses about tiredness now as Ipswich look to finish what they have started in the Championship.

The Blues captain in Jim Magilton's absence from the pitch accepts Bolton had that little bit more energy to finish them off in the cup but that leaves Ipswich with the main prize still to go for in the remaining three months of the season.

De Vos said: "Bolton were a bit fresher than us. We don't have the same sort of numbers as they do with a bigger squad and it has been a difficult Christmas period.

"But now we have the league to focus on. That is our bread and butter and we will not have any excuses for tired legs or too many games, because we only have those 18 league games left to play."

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Town were given a taste of what they can expect should they achieve their dream and move onto the next level and will need to start tightening up in all areas of the pitch.

De Vos said: "That is the big thing we learned from this game. If we want to play in the Premier League then at the next level we can't make mistakes. We need to be much sharper all over the park and be more consistent."

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After holding their own for an hour Ipswich were broken open by a slick Bolton move with the Blues appealing for offside against scorer Stelios Giannakopoulos, although Scott Mitchell appeared to have played him on.

De Vos said: "We are disappointed to have lost because we felt at half-time that we could go on and win the game.

"To me the first goal was offside so that was a tough one. That really deflated us and took the wind out of our sails.

"We had to go and chase the game and the other two goals they scored came because we were pushing forward and gave the ball way."

The commanding Canadian was philosophical about the defeat and already looking forward to Town getting back to winning ways at Portman Road after losing both home matches so far in 2005.

They take on Coventry City on Saturday, with Peter Reid quitting last week and Mickey Adams the hot favourite to take over before travelling to Town.

De Vos said: "We have to take the positives out of the game. For long periods we played alright, maybe we didn't pass the ball as well as we would have liked, but we certainly didn't disgrace ourselves."

The free signing from Wigan was central to a disrupted defence with two new full-backs either side of him and makeshift centre-back Fabian Wilnis.

De Vos said: "Scott Mitchell did really well. It is very hard when you are a young lad coming in against a team like Bolton and an international striker like Henrik Pedersen. Mitch has a big future in the game. He is very tenacious, works his socks off and is a good athlete.

"Danny (Karbassiyoon) also did well and the experience and ability you have to have to play for a big club like Arsenal holds him in good stead here at Ipswich. He is going to get better every game he plays and that gives the gaffer good options, with Matt Richards doing so well.

"Fab also had a good game, with his experience getting him through. It is not easy being shoved from one position to another but he handles it really well against difficult opposition and he didn't put a foot wrong."

Mitchell was making his first Town appearance since starting for the Blues against Brentford in the League Cup last August. His previous two league appearances were when he made his debut as a substitute at Derby last season and then at Portman Road against Watford.

Mitchell said: "I was delighted to be back in action with the first team and felt really up for it I wanted to show people what I could do and I was buzzing in the first-half.

"We were playing a Premiership side and to be honest for large parts of the game we were a lot better than Bolton. Personally, I'm disappointed that we are out of the Cup but we can now concentrate all our efforts on the Championship."

The 19-year-old Mitchell could find himself back in the reserves on Wednesday as Steve McCall's side travel to Watford.

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