Piotr Malarczyk is ready to make his first Portman Road start for Ipswich Town

Piotr Malarczyk

Piotr Malarczyk - Credit: Gregg Brown

Piotr Malarczyk is ready to make his first Ipswich Town start at Portman Road tomorrow.

Bartosz Bialkowski believes Piotr Malarczyk is ready to go

Bartosz Bialkowski believes Piotr Malarczyk is ready to go - Credit: Archant

So says his Blues team-mate and fellow Polish national Bartosz Bialkowski ahead of the club’s FA Cup third round tie against league Two side Portsmouth tomorrow.

No-nonsense defender Malarczyk was signed from his hometown club Korona Kielce back on August 28 after Ipswich triggered a buy-out clause, believed to be as little as £8,500.

The 24-year-old, who can play at right-back or centre-back, has been restricted to just one start for the Blues so far – in the 3-0 League Cup defeat at Manchester United – while there have been three substitute appearances in the Championship.

The 6ft 3in defender will start tomorrow, though, after manager Mick McCarthy named his side to face Portsmouth a day early and made a handful of changes to his regular side.

Keeper Bialkowski – who is another promoted from the bench – said: “He’s getting stronger and is getting to know English football much better.

“He’s working really hard and I think he’s ready. His English is getting better and that has enabled him to know the other players.”

Asked if the duo communicate in Polish or English, Bialkowski replied: “Well, we try to speak Polish in the dressing room but the lads tells us, ‘no, it’s only English in the dressing room’. So it ends up being a mixture of Polish and English that we speak to each other!”

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Bialkowski, 28, has played in England for a decade now and has chalked up 13 appearances in the FA Cup for Southampton, Notts County and Ipswich.

Asked if he had grown up watching the famous competition on television, he replied: “Not really. In Poland it’s different. I just followed the Premier League and didn’t pay much attention to the FA Cup. As soon as I came to England I realised that it is really massive though.”

Nine of Bialkowski’s FA Cup displays came for Southampton, a club where he spent almost seven years of his career.

And because of his association with the south coast team he is expecting a few boos from the fans of their regional rivals tomorrow.

“When I was at Notts County I played against Portsmouth in the FA Cup and got some stick, but that’s normal,” he said.

“I don’t mind a bit of banter from opposition fans. That’s all part of the game.”

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