Westlake confident of play-off place

NO hesitation, no doubt about it, Ipswich will still reach the play-offs after grabbing their third league win in a row at Watford today, according to another of Town's rising stars - Ian Westlake.

NO hesitation, no doubt about it, Ipswich will still reach the play-offs after grabbing their third league win in a row at Watford today, according to another of Town's rising stars - Ian Westlake.

The 19-year-old Clacton midfielder epitomises the spirit, enthusiasm and belief, coursing through the squad, despite the current woes.

Westlake, who will start today as Alan Mahon failed to pass a late fitness test, is adamant this side is good enough to challenge among the best in Division One.

He said: “The spirit and belief is still high. The training still feels fresh - there are a lot of good ideas.


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“We started the season slowly but that did not affect the atmosphere and now we have had a coupe of wins everyone is flying in training again. We will just put the League Cup defeat behind us and carry on doing as well as we can. If we can really start playing our football then we can push on and challenge the top spots.”

And he dismisses the notion that the Blues are still carrying a Premiership superiority complex with them.

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He said: “That is definitely not the case. We are very much a part of this division although we want to get out of it.”

But Westlake accepts the injury situation is hurting Town, especially in midfield.

He added: “We have missed players like Chris Makin and Tommy Miller. They are steady players who you don't realise how much you miss until they are not playing. Plus Tommy can always come through and score a goal for you.”

Westlake used to represent England at water-polo but is making a splash at Ipswich Town now, an easy choice for him to make.

After starting his first league game against West Ham a month ago, he followed it up with a man of the match performance at Notts County where he made a second start. But he hopes the side take their league form, and not cup form, to Watford today.

He said: “We have looked a lot better in the last two league games and got the results. We have looked more of a team and we have to carry that on against Watford. We need to win the battle first and that has been a problem at times for us. Once we have won the battle our football will shine through and we will be able to get the ball down and play.”

With Darren Bent and Matt Richards also coming through the ranks at the same time it has made it easier for him to settle into the first team, which he feels very much a part of now.

He added: “Travelling with them and training with them every day, it all makes a difference and helps enormously when you are out there playing.”

That is why he is so well placed to predict Town will soon be back towards the top.

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