Special memories for Miller
TOMMY Miller is looking forward to a nostalgic return to Belle Vue tonight and reaching a Town landmark.The Blues midfielder made his full league debut for Hartlepool as an 18-year-old against Doncaster, way back in October 1997, and should tonight make his 100th Blues appearance.
By Derek Davis
TOMMY Miller is looking forward to a nostalgic return to Belle Vue tonight and reaching a Town landmark.
The Blues midfielder made his full league debut for Hartlepool as an 18-year-old against Doncaster, way back in October 1997, and should tonight make his 100th Blues appearance.
Miller, who was released by the Town Academy at the age of 15, kick-started his career with Hartlepool and, after going on as a substitute for them the week before, played his part a few days later in a comeback at Doncaster.
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Miller recalled: “We were 2-0 down and we came back to draw 2-2, so I'm looking forward to going back for the first time.
“It holds special memories for me and that was my only game there.”
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Miller went on to score his first league goal six games later in the 3-3 draw with Cambridge United.
He has not stopped scoring since and leads the Town goalcharts this season so far with four goals.
After struggling with injury last season and suffering a nightmare summer because he was getting over major dental surgery, Miller is determined to play as much as he can, although he recognises it won't be easy against the League One side tonight.
Miller added: “The manager may want to rest a few but none us want to miss games, and I certainly don't.
“It will be a difficult game because they are not a bad team.”
Miller is one of the few Town players who have ventured to Belle Vue. The club has not been there since 1958 and that game ended in a 1-1 draw, just as the game finished three years earlier in the old, old, Second Division.
The home games in the corresponding seasons finished 2-0 and 5-1 to the Blues.
This is the first time the sides have met in a cup competition but Ipswich will be aware of how badly they slipped up at Notts County last season at this stage of the League Cup.
Blues boss Joe Royle is fully prepared for the Doncaster danger.
He said: “We have had them watched three times and they have done well each time. We know what to expect and will be ready.
“Their manager, Dave Penney, has done a terrific job there. To win two promotions on the bounce takes some doing.”
Town will definitely make three changes and Royle is considering at least one more. He will make his mind up on that one this morning.
Dean Bowditch, Matt Richards and Tony Dinning will all start, with Kevin Horlock, Pablo Counago and Drissa Diallo the three likely to drop to the bench.
Horlock has been carrying an injury, Diallo may be rested, with Fabian Wilnis switching to his preferred right-back slot while the highly-fruitful Bowditch and Darren Bent partnership could be given another go.
Royle said: “We have no injury concerns as such but we will make those three changes.
“I'm still undecided on whether to put Lewis Price in or keep Kelvin Davis in goal.
“Kelvin has been playing very well, but at the same time I need to consider Lewis.”
The draw for the third round of the Carling Cup will drawn directly after the televised tie between Coventry City and Spurs on Wednesday night.
n A young Ipswich Town reserve side will take on a Colchester United second string in a friendly at the Playford Road training ground tomorrow (2pm kick-off).