Reuser out for the Blues
MARTIJN Reuser has failed to make the trip to Wigan after injuring a groin in training yesterday, writes Derek Davis.The Dutchman's absence slightly limits manager Joe Royle's choices ahead of tonight's game at the JJB Stadium but the Blues boss has still promised changes.
MARTIJN Reuser has failed to make the trip to Wigan after injuring a groin in training yesterday, writes Derek Davis.
The Dutchman's absence slightly limits manager Joe Royle's choices ahead of tonight's game at the JJB Stadium but the Blues boss has still promised changes.
Those changes are more likely to be personnel rather than formation with Town looking to stick with the adventurous 4-3-3, rather than 4-4-2, although reverting back to a 3-5-2 is not totally out of the question given the 16 players available.
If there are three up front it could well be time for Dean Bowditch to get his start, with Pablo Counago sitting this one out. Matt Richards will come in with Fabian Wilnis the most likely to lose out. Richards could just slot straight in on the right, or Chris Makin could go back to that side with the former Harlow schoolboy on the left.
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Georges Santos needed stitches to a wound in his chin but trained yesterday and will start ahead of Jermaine Wright.
But he could drop into the back line in between Drissa Diallo and Richard Naylor with Makin and Richards as wing-backs with Jermaine Wright joining the midfield along with Tommy Miller and Jim Magilton. The other option is to exclude Wright and use Ian Westlake, who looked lively against Coventry City, with two up front, probably Marcus Bent and Darren Bent.
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Royle knows the Lancashire side will not make it easy for his side but realises Town can not afford to keep dropping points.
He said: "Paul Jewell did tremendously well to take Wigan up as champions last season and have had a good start to this season points-wise. But we have had a full report on them from the game against Burnley and they were a little fortunate to take all three points. Burnley had efforts hit the woodwork and had one cleared off the line – that sounds familiar, doesn't it? But we have to make sure we put those chances away.
"We have the same 16, except Matt Richards is in for Martijn Reuser, and we will be making changes. I have a lot of options and will be using players who have had lots of rest of late.
"We need to freshen up a little and this could be the ideal opportunity. We have a long way to go and a lot of games to play and I know we will get things right."
Ipswich desperately need to find the right balance and blend with players comfortable in any given situation. Away from home in front of a smallish crowd on a Tuesday night they will need to be mentally tough but at the same time will not be under quite as much pressure as they might have been given the below-average set of results so far.
The game was switched from Bank Holiday Monday until tonight as the Wigan Warriors were playing a Rugby League game against Bradford Bulls last night, which could leave the pitch less than perfect.