Town stars playing for their futures

FOR every one of the remaining 11 games, Ipswich Town players will go into it as if their jobs depend on it - because for 10 of them it probably does.

FOR every one of the remaining 11 games, Ipswich Town players will go into it as if their jobs depend on it - because for 10 of them it probably does, writes Derek Davis.

Blues boss Joe Royle confirmed new contracts will not be discussed until the end of the season, which leaves a third of the squad in limbo.

He said: “No one needs any more motivation than to get into the Premiership but there are people here who are playing for their futures.”

Andy Marshall and Alun Armstrong already know they will not be offered new contracts in the summer.

But Fabian Wilnis, Richard Naylor, Jim Magilton, Chris Makin, John McGreal, Jim Magilton, Chris Bart-Williams and Lewis Price will all be looking for new deals when the season ends.

Former Ajax youth player Nabil Abidallah was another whose contract runs out in June but he has now been paid up and is no longer an Ipswich player, although he is being allowed to train with them until he finds a new club.

Most Read

Clearly promotion to the Premiership would give Royle more leeway in what to offer players, but staying in Division One could mean wage cuts, and in some cases no offers of renewal.

The first of the 11 remaining games is against Millwall on Saturday with Pablo Counago ruled out with a hamstring injury.

It is the second time Counago has picked up a hamstring pull at Pride Park after limping out of the league game last November and then the reserves on Tuesday night.

Counago could be out for up to three weeks with the latest injury.

Makin and Bart-Williams are also ruled out through injury. McGreal, who missed the Norwich game with ligament damage, is recovering and is expected to train today.

Millwall have a couple of injury worries of their own with player-manager Dennis Wise considering leaving himself out after suffering a deep gash in a knee. Influential central defender Darren Ward is also a doubt after damaging medial ligaments.

Meanwhile, negotiations to secure a loan signing continue with Royle working hard to bring someone in before the weekend.

One target, Jeff Kenna, has joined Derby County on a two-year deal on a free transfer from Birmingham City.

A defender is not a priority for Royle who wants a proven goal-scorer or a deadly midfielder.

Town striker Dean Bowditch is on the verge of more international honours after being put on stand-by to play in the England under-19 friendly against Germany at the end of the month.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter