Town duo fit to face Foxes
DARREN Bent and Shefki Kuqi are confident they will be fit to resume their outstanding goal-scoring against Leicester City on Saturday.The 21-year-old striker was left with knee, shin, and calf injuries after the bruising victory at Sheffield United last weekend and had to pull out of the England Under-21 squad which lost to Holland on Tuesday.
DARREN Bent and Shefki Kuqi are confident they will be fit to resume their outstanding goal-scoring against Leicester City on Saturday.
The 21-year-old striker was left with knee, shin, and calf injuries after the bruising victory at Sheffield United last weekend and had to pull out of the England Under-21 squad which lost to Holland on Tuesday.
Kuqi suffered a broken nose, with a slight cut, and a swollen face in the same game after tangling with Danny Cullip.
He missed Finland's international trip to Cyprus but his breathing has improved and he is now expected to play.
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Bubbly Bent missed training at Ipswich this week and has been wearing a protective elasticated stocking over his left shin, which was cut open and swollen by stud marks following a hefty challenge by Chris Morgan.
The 14-goal-joint leading scorer said. “It is a bit painful but I should be alright.
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“We will see how it goes but I'm confident I will be available to play.”
The news will be music to Town fans' ears as he and Kuqi look to start together for the 20th consecutive game. During that spell they have notched 20 goals between them, in a partnership that has harvested 28 goals so far this season.
If either player breaks down then Blues boss Joe Royle will call on Dean Bowditch, who was with the England Under-19s in Belgium last night.
Bowditch has been patiently waiting in the wings since starting the season with two goals in three games in the opening month.
If push comes to shove Royle could always use Darren Currie up front and, of course, Richard Naylor is a proven forward.
Pablo Counago is also available after scoring as the reserves lost 2-1 to Arsenal on Monday but Royle will be reluctant to change the 16-man squad that travelled to Sheffield and came back with another three points.
The win leaves Town five points clear at the top of the table but Royle has again insisted the team are not taking anything for granted.
He said: “If we start thinking and talking too much about the 'P word' we'll forget the job in hand.
“I would be lying if I said I hadn't dreamed of the Premiership, but I dreamed about it at the start of the season.
“I have great belief in these players. We're in a great position but we're not going to start talking about it because we're nowhere near.
“The minute we take our eye off the ball I'm sure we'll know about it.
“The players aren't using the 'P word' too much either - they are just looking at the next game.”