Town in serious goalkeeping crisis

BLUES boss Jim Magilton last night admitted he might need to ask the Football League for special dispensation to bring in an emergency keeper as Ipswich face a 'semi-goalkeeping crisis' after the closure of the emergency loan window.

By Derek Davis

BLUES boss Jim Magilton last night admitted he might need to ask the Football League for special dispensation to bring in an emergency keeper as Ipswich face a 'semi-goalkeeping crisis' after the closure of the emergency loan window.

While the Blues boss is confident Shane Supple will be fit for tomorrow's game at Barnsley, he is concerned at the lack of cover now Mike Pollitt has been recalled by Wigan.

Paul Jewell activated a standard 24-hour recall clause after back-up Latics keeper John Filan was injured in a reserve game against Blackburn Rovers at Morecambe on Monday.

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Lewis Price is recovering well from the cracked rib he suffered at Southend almost five weeks ago and Czech keeper Jaro Drobny is said to have a hamstring injury - but his month contract is almost complete anyway. Town do have young keeper Andy Plummer registered, while coach Andy Rhodes is also listed as a player, although it is highly unlikely he would be called upon.

In the worst-case scenario Richard Naylor or Fabian Wilnis could be on the bench ready to be gloved up in an emergency.

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Magilton said last night: “With Mike going back it leaves us with a semi-goalkeeping crisis. I will know more after training in the morning but it is not an ideal situation.

“Shane is still a bit tight and has hardly trained although I expect him to be fit, Lewis has just come back and Jaro is feeling some tightness. I tried to get someone in before the 5pm deadline, but nothing happened so we will just have to get on with it.

It may be a case of asking the Football League for special dispensation but for them to allow us to bring in a keeper we need to show we have no one in the building who can play in goal.”

Supple was named in the reserve-team squad that was due to play Needham Market on Wednesday in the Suffolk Premier Cup but was pulled out of the squad at lunchtime. The game was later postponed anyway due to a waterlogged pitch.

The young Irishman will benefit from the coaching of the world's leading kicking coach Dave Alred, who has been working with the Blues keeper this week.

Alred has been working on techniques to help improve all areas of the Blues kicking game from kicking out of hand, goal kicks, corners and free-kicks. The Blues' coaching staff have been concerned at Supple's kicking and this will benefit him as he looks to regain his confidence and cement his place.

With Darren Currie now at Coventry City, the set plays are falling mainly to Matt Richards and Gary Roberts, and Alred has been teaching and improving techniques. He has also been passing on tips to Town coaches and working on skills acquisition and mental preparation.

Magilton said: “Dave has worked at the very highest level and it has been great to have him here this week. He has been working with the keepers, the strikers and midfielders and has been very helpful.”

Alred, who was awarded an MBE for his part in helping Sir Clive Woodward's England rugby team win the 2003 World Cup, has worked with a who's who of sporting greats in football, rugby (league and union) and Gaelic football, including the likes of Neil Jenkins, Rob Andrew, Joe Cole, Shay Given and Richard Wright, and he has recently worked with England fly-half Charlie Hodgson.

Meanwhile, stand-in Barnsley boss Simon Davey has been busy in the loan market and will blood four new signings against Ipswich tomorrow, with prolific scorer Leon Knight from Swansea, West Ham winger Kyel Reid, West Brom midfielder Ronnie Wallwork and Cheltenham's Grant McCann all moving to Oakwell before the deadline. The Tykes also tried to sign Neil Shipperley from Sheffield United but he has joined Hull City.

Despite Magilton's best efforts Ipswich failed to move any more players out - although Darryl Knights is due to go to Falkirk to train with the Scottish side.

FA Youth Cup final goalscoring hero Ed Upson has celebrated his 17th birthday by signing a two-year professional contract with Ipswich Town.

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