Town want to finish pre-season with win

HEALTH, strength and energy will be very much in evidence at Portman Road tonight when Osasuna provide the final pre-season opposition.

HEALTH, strength and energy will be very much in evidence at Portman Road tonight when Osasuna provide the final pre-season opposition, writes Derek Davis.

New signing Savo Milosevic is looking to use the game to further get used to his team-mates and get himself ready for a season in La Liga where he is expected to hit a dozen goals but has given himself a target of 15.

The Bosnian has had to overcome personal hardships, not just the conflicts in his home country, but the loss of his mother to cancer four years ago.

The 30-year-old striker played for three years at Aston Villa and still uses his time there as the basis to prepare for a new season.

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He said: "This is a perfect climate to train. In this country we come to work and not to enjoy and England is perfect for that. The physical work is a little harder than other times in my career but I do not have a problem with that.

"I'm a player who works for the full 90 minutes and for that I need to be physically ready."

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The Spanish club's name translates to health, strength and energy in Basque and the Blues will be looking for a little bit of that in the upcoming Championship season.

After beating Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, Oxford United and Peterborough, with a goalless draw and defeat in Denmark in between, Ipswich will be looking to round off their pre-season on a high.

The Spanish side should not provide too stiff an opposition, they are further behind in their training and only escaped relegation from La Liga by three places last season.

Familiar names in the Spaniards' line up include Milosevic, signed from Parma last month after he spent a season-long loan at Pablo Counago's old club Celta Vigo.

Serbia-Montenegro international Milosevic was signed by Brian Little for Aston Villa for £3.5m and met up with his old boss over the weekend in a goalless draw at Tranmere Rovers in a friendly at Prenton Park.

Ibrahima Bakayoko will have felt at home on Merseyside after spending two years at Everton with Walter Smith. He joined Osasuna last September from Marseilles.

The third big man up front is Australian striker John Aloisi, who spent time with Coventry City before moving to the continent.

The Pamplona-based club, who were looking good for a UEFA Cup spot until five defeats in a row saw them slump to 13th, have two injury worries for tonight.

Uruguayan Pablo Garcia is the biggest doubt with a tight hamstring, while Delporte French is more hopeful after training yesterday.

He said: "I have been in for extra training and I hope to be fit to play Ipswich. I have been hitting the weights and if I keep on like this I'm going to end up looking like the Incredible Hulk."

Osasuna will be difficult to break down, as Tranmere found out on Friday, and last season they conceded just 37 goals, beating the likes of Real Madrid.

Osasuna squad: Sanzol, Izquirdo, Clavero, Cruchago, Iortiz, Milosevic, Punal, Josetxo, Valdo, Munoz, Elia, Moreno, Herreros, Raul, Bakayoko, Aloisi, Corrales, Seguero.

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