Season starts here - Garvan

FIT-again Owen Garvan has pinpointed today's game against Stoke as the start of the Blues' season.After an indifferent first half of the season, where the Blues have hit the heights with a 5-0 win over Luton and victory in the East Anglian derby against Norwich but also plumbed the depths with a 5-1 hammering at home by West Brom and a cup exit at the hands of Peterborough United, Ipswich are looking for a second-half surge.

By Derek Davis

FIT-again Owen Garvan has pinpointed today's game against Stoke as the start of the Blues' season.

After an indifferent first half of the season, where the Blues have hit the heights with a 5-0 win over Luton and victory in the East Anglian derby against Norwich but also plumbed the depths with a 5-1 hammering at home by West Brom and a cup exit at the hands of Peterborough United, Ipswich are looking for a second-half surge.

Garvan, who missed the majority of the opening 23 league matches through illness, is pivotal in Town's revival and is looking to help the team amass a bumper festive haul.

The 18-year-old Irishman said: “It will be a busy period for the team and, hopefully, we can come out of it with a lot of points. That will help us going into the second half of the season.

“Our season pretty much starts here and now and we are looking to keep playing and winning.

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“I can see us kicking on now and pushing up. Our performances have generally been better than a mid-table side, although results have not gone as planned.

“We would have preferred to be in and around the play-off places at this stage but things can change quickly over this festive period.

“We need to get on a run now and hunt teams down.”

As usual, Garvan has been meticulous in his preparation and has studied the tape of Stoke's surprisingly heavy defeat at Colchester last week and warns the Potters are still a force to be reckoned with. He said: “Stoke losing at Colchester was a surprise but they are still a dangerous side. I watched the highlights and Stoke got into good positions but didn't finish them off. Colchester did very well to withstand the storm and then came through to win.”

With no fresh injury worries, there is a fair chance that Town will play their best midfield and Garvan believes they are beginning to gel.

He said: “The past couple of games have looked okay for us but we know there is still room for improvement. We also have quite a few people knocking on the door to play in midfield so we have good cover.”

With four games inside 10 days, Garvan knows it will be a gruelling schedule, especially after coming back from shingles and a blood disorder, but he is relishing the challenge.

Garvan said: “I was out for so long that now I'm back I want to be playing in every game to help the team. I wouldn't want it any other way. Once I got the Derby game over, I reached a level of fitness that I was happy with and there is no doubt in my mind that I'm fully recovered.

“This is a tough schedule but it is what you have to deal with here in England. I personally enjoy having so many games and the fans enjoy the games too.”

And looking further ahead, a fully-fit Garvan will interest the Republic of Ireland selectors with an Under-21 call-up in the offing.

Garvan added: “It is in the back of my mind but, having just got back in the Ipswich side, I'm just looking to play here.”

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