The Jason De Vos column

WHILE I accept that our play-off chances are not realistic any more, I don't see it means that our season is finished.We don't look at it that way and we are certainly not thinking we are on holiday.

WHILE I accept that our play-off chances are not realistic any more, I don't see it means that our season is finished.

We don't look at it that way and we are certainly not thinking we are on holiday. On the contrary, we are saying to each other we need to win all our five remaining games.

It is important we win because we want to finish on a high and get the confidence high, raring to go for next season. If we throw in the towel then that negative feeling will be with us in summer and then in pre-season and we will not hit the new season running.

As a professional I want to win every game and as a footballer I'm naturally competitive. I was gutted to get knocked out of the poker tournament (see story below) although sometimes you have to accept your limitations - it doesn't make it any easier.

All of us want to do our best but last week nothing came off for us and we never found our stride. I can promise you it was as frustrating for us as it was for the supporters.

Our motivation remains in our pride and desire to win. We owe it to our supporters too and want to give it our best for them. They pay good money and they deserve to see us try our very best every game and hopefully if we can finish on a high that will encourage them to come back again next season.

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In terms of promotion or relegation it is rare to not be involved but I can remember in my first season at Wigan I broke my foot in the third game and was out for a large part of the season and we finished 10th.

Paul Jewell was shaping the team and we knew we had the making of a good side and everyone wanted to be involved - just like here at Ipswich now.

The following season we won promotion with games to go. That is a situation for us to aim for and the next season starts right now.

WHEREVER I'm asked about Ipswich and my move here I always say how fantastic the facilities are and very few clubs can match them.

It is not just what we have at Playford Road and Portman Road, but other places we can use as part of our training. Earlier this week we went to Ufford Park for a little bit of training and the change of scenery is good to help us feel fresh and meet some of the people there.

The Next Generation facilities are also at our disposal with the swimming pool and facilities very beneficial, especially for those getting back to fitness.

GAMBLING is not really my thing but I enjoyed an unbelievable experience this week when I represented Canada in a tournament for footballers and poker players.

The televised event for Party Poker.com was held at Brisbane Road, home of Leyton Orient, and being one of the few Canadians playing football in this country I got selected.

Like I say I'm not a gambling man and I rarely even play cards for money with the lads on the bus when they occasionally do, but I'm a fan of poker. I'm not much of a player and it's not something I play but I do enjoy watching it and I also have great admiration for other professions in their field.

Our Canada side comprised Daniel Negreanu and Evelyn Ng, who are both professional card players, and myself, and we were up against Australia who had Mark Bosnich playing.

Some of the best players in the world were in the room and it was amazing to sit on the same table as some these guys and just watch them operate.

I kid you not, Daniel was guessing what the other players had in their hands and was quite often spot-on.

As for me, well I went out first on our table when my pair of 10s was beaten by a pair of kings after I went heads up with one of the Australian professionals.

As a team we lost to the Aussies, which was incredibly disappointing, as Bosnich beat Evelyn with three queens and that left Daniel taking on the three Aussies and they ganged up to see him off.

It was all good-natured and a real fun experience which left some of the lads at Ipswich who play a fair bit quite envious.

As for me, I'll stick to football and all I can say is that it is a good thing I don't make my living at poker.

WE are getting down to the business end of the season in terms of promotion and, in the Premiership, relegation.

Birmingham City's win over Bolton on Tuesday has taken them out of the bottom three for the first time in months and Pompey have had a good run of late.

Three months ago Portsmouth looked dead and buried, but now it could all go down to the wire, where everything hinges on the last game.

The players must be wondering why they have played the other 37 games when it is all down to one absolutely enormous match with £25million resting on it.

THE reason why I have been keeping a bit quiet on our Fantasy League recently is because I'm not doing very well at all.

I have been struggling big style with only one sub left and the ones I have used have not been doing well.

Then when I was looking at putting Robbie Keane in I forgot, what with looking after the kids as well, and he only goes and scores two goals.

If you have a comment or question for me you can e-mail me at jason.devos@archant.co.uk

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