Two to miss Town tour

JOHN McGreal and Matt Richards will miss Ipswich Town's pre-season Scandinavian trip next week.But a clutch of youngsters will embark on their first senior tour as Aidan Collins, Antonio Murray, Ian Westlake and Dean Bowditch have all been given berths.

JOHN McGreal and Matt Richards will miss Ipswich Town's pre-season Scandinavian trip next week.

But a clutch of youngsters will embark on their first senior tour as Aidan Collins, Antonio Murray, Ian Westlake and Dean Bowditch have all been given berths.

Blues boss Joe Royle does not want to take any chances with Richards who has tweaked a hamstring in training, while McGreal is making good progress after recovering from a second knee operation this year but is not ready to work with the ball just yet.

Marcus Bent also picked up a slight strain but he trained again yesterday and is expected to take his place in the Blues line-up when they travel to Southend on Tuesday for their first pre-season friendly.


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Royle will use his slim squad sparingly in their six away friendlies with the home game against Bulgarian Cup winners Levski Sofia indicating his preferred starting line-up.

He said: "It will be mix and match for the earlier matches where all the players will get games and parts of games.

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"We will still be taking the games seriously because I want us to win each one but the game against Levski Sofia at home will probably be our most important test as it is a week before the season starts and we will know pretty much what the team will be."

The importance of Collins, Westlake, Murray and Bowditch will become more apparent as the season rolls on and injuries and suspensions start biting.

And while there is cover in all positions at the moment, Royle is bound to exploit the loan market as he looked to do last season before administration tied his hands.

Guinea international Drissa Diallo joined his Ipswich team-mates as planned yesterday after being allowed a late return as he was getting married last weekend.

Dean Bowditch also turned up a day early while Darren Bent completes the squad, although five of the Town keepers are away with Malcolm Webster on a professionals' coaching course with only Matteo Sereni up at Orwell Park School this week.

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