Town turn to experience

EXPERIENCE will provide the backbone of Ipswich Town's defence against Watford tomorrow.John McGreal's timely return to fitness after a knee injury should see him partner loan signing Matt Elliott in central defence, providing he comes through another training session with no ill-effects today.

EXPERIENCE will provide the backbone of Ipswich Town's defence against Watford tomorrow, writes Derek Davis.

John McGreal's timely return to fitness after a knee injury should see him partner loan signing Matt Elliott in central defence, providing he comes through another training session with no ill-effects today.

The duo would bring a combined total of more than 1,000 appearances in 27 years of playing league football.

Although Blues boss Joe Royle refuses to write-off lion-hearted Richard Naylor, the Town tough guy is struggling after playing with a broken toe in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Walsall.


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He said: "Richard did us a great favour by playing on Tuesday but he is a lot sorer for doing it. Even so, I would not give up on Richard yet. If he is fit he will play."

Drissa Diallo and Georges Santos are making tentative steps to a return after both picked up facial injuries in the loss against Millwall.

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Diallo still has stitches in a wound above the bridge of his nose while Santos' nose is not as bad as first thought but he is still suffering headaches.

Alun Armstrong also has a chance of making the bench, which had four teenagers on it at the Bescot Stadium.

Royle quipped: "We won't need a childminder for the bench on Saturday."

Pablo Counago, Martijn Reuser, Chris Makin and Chris Bart-Williams have all been ruled out.

Victory in the noon kick-off, which is being televised live on Sky, could push Town back into the top six again with eight games left after the weekend.

Royle said: "We have to keep winning now. We were out of it, we were in it, and now we are in with a great chance but it is up to ourselves.

"You can't take anyone for granted in this division but we did win at Watford after going behind. It would be nice to put on a good performance and win comfortably but it is never that easy.

"They have good players and are dangerous up front. That said, it is a winnable game, but then they all are."

Watford have allowed Wayne Brown to stay at Colchester United on loan for the remainder of the season.

Chris Baird will make his debut after joining on loan from Southampton but the Hornets will be without Neil Cox, Marcus Gayle and Danny Webber, who are all injured.

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