O'Callaghan set to make first start
LET slip those dogs of war.Underdogs Ipswich Town are ready to unleash their young pups, led by a hungry hound, on Premiership basement battlers Watford.
By Derek Davis
LET slip those dogs of war.
Underdogs Ipswich Town are ready to unleash their young pups, led by a hungry hound, on Premiership basement battlers Watford.
Blues boss Jim Magilton insists he has no qualms about playing teenagers Billy Clarke and Danny Haynes while Irish wolfhound George O'Callaghan is set for a first Town start in Saturday's FA Cup (sponsored by e.on) tie.
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Magilton said: “George is in my mind to start on Saturday and he deserves his opportunity. George has worked very hard and in his cameo roles when he has come on he has done well.
“He showed a lot of courage at Crystal Palace and got on the ball. Against Leicester he rolled his sleeves up and had a go at getting us back in the game.”
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Magilton believes O'Callaghan is driven by an extra motivation with his second chance mentality.
He said: “It is human nature where you think something is not going to happen and then you get another chance you take it, as George is doing.”
With Alan Lee suspended and Jon Waters cup-tied, it is possible Town will go with one up front, and Magilton is looking for the men in the club to come to the fore.
At 28 and with a turbulent past O'Callaghan has the Fighting Irish spirit that the Blues will need.
Magilton said: “We had six players under 21 against Leicester and for large chunks of games our football has been good but we just need to score goals.
“You need a few men in the building and you need a few men in the team to relieve the pressure and take it off young players learning the game.”
That said, Magilton has confidence in the young England and Irish international combination.
He said: “I have no fear about putting the two young lads in together. Both boys are hungry and while Billy has been off colour in games recently he is still a young man learning his trade. Danny comes off the bench and makes things happen although in the past couple of weeks he has hit a wall.
“I have no problems with them either starting or coming off the bench.”
The service is likely to be supplied by Darren Currie, whose proposed loan move has been put on hold. Magilton said: “We have said how much we need a little more quality in the final third and Darren provides that. He is very controlled in his possession, rarely gives the ball away, plus provides that quality. He will be involved on Saturday and after that we will see.”
Although Dean Bowditch hit a hat-trick against Watford it is unlikely he will get a start as he is short of match fitness after recovering from a groin problem and is due to return on loan to Brighton after the cup tie.
Magilton's attempts at finding a loan striker have been unsuccessful and he has called on the players he has to put on a dogged display in front of the 4,500 travelling Town support.
He said: “Watford will be licking their lips and after beating West Ham, will be full of confidence. We have to try and take this opportunity and stand up and be counted.
“We have had two tough games in the FA Cup but we can go to a Premier League team and show what we are capable of.”
Richard Naylor is still struggling with a toe injury while skipper Jason De Vos is in contention to play against Watford and will be assessed tomorrow.
Colchester United's reserve match against Ipswich Town at Layer Road has been brought forward a day to Tuesday, March 20.