Richards struck down by illness

DANNY Karbassiyoon has been given permission to play for Ipswich Town today after Matt Richards was struck down by food poisoning, writes Derek Davis.Arsenal agreed to allow him to play just hours before the noon deadline yesterday after the Blues suffered a mini injury crisis.

DANNY Karbassiyoon has been given permission to play for Ipswich Town today after Matt Richards was struck down by food poisoning, writes Derek Davis.

Arsenal agreed to allow him to play just hours before the noon deadline yesterday after the Blues suffered a mini injury crisis.

The EADT revealed yesterday that Richard Naylor was a doubt with a groin problem that now appears to have affected his hip.

His place is likely to be taken by 18-year-old centre-half Aidan Collins, a former Chelmsford schoolboy.


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Dean Bowditch has been hit by flu and although he is named in a 17-man squad, is rated doubtful to even make the bench. Scott Mitchell has also been added to the party as additional cover.

Karbassiyoon made his Town debut at Millwall as a six minute substitute and then impressed in his first Championship start as Town beat Plymouth on Monday.

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Royle said: "I spoke to Arsenal on Friday morning and they were very helpful and agreed to change their mind about Danny and we are delighted to have him available. There is a lot more to come from the lad yet."

The 20-year-old American is keen to extend his loan period into a second month and making his home debut for Ipswich today could be another step towards that happening, although he still has a week left on the original agreement.

Karbassiyoon said: "I'm really enjoying my time here and if the chance came to stay longer that would be great. The lads have made me feel very welcome here, the staff are friendly and it's great to be involved in the first-team and that's what I want to be doing now, pushing for first-team football.

"It's better for me to be playing in front of big crowds and playing in games with points at stake than playing in the reserves for Arsenal."

Royle was the last English manager to win the FA Cup when he led the 1995 Everton team to Wembley victory. He insists that getting promotion to the Premiership remains the priority but he would love another good cup run.

Royle said: "I strongly disagree with anyone who says that the FA Cup has lost its shine over recent years. It is still the premier cup competition in the world.

"There are many players who will tell you that it was the highlight of their life playing in the Final at Wembley or the Millennium Stadium.

"And of course for the smaller clubs there is always that opportunity for a giant-killing.

"The drama of the Cup is amazing, it is where David can take on Goliath and beat him – and regularly too. I love the competition.

"There are some great ties this year as well, with the likes of Yeading hosting Newcastle and Exeter going to Old Trafford.

"We've got a great draw ourselves against a Premiership side and it will be a good test of our credentials to see how we do against Bolton.

"Having said that, we will be looking at making changes for the game. We have had a heavy schedule over the last week or so and we will mix things up a bit."

Tickets for the game are still available and will be available from the ticket office in Constantine Road this morning.

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