BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Sport: Football
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

George Burley on Johnson's injury
"At the moment it's no more than 50-50"
 real 28k

Sam Allardyce
"The pressure is on the home side"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Johnson out of play-off
Bolton v Ipswich
Bolton knocked Ipswich out of last year's play-offs
Injured Ipswich striker David Johnson will miss the second leg of the club's first division play-off with Bolton on Wednesday.

The striker was taken off with a neck injury during Sunday's first leg at the Reebok Stadium.

But defender Tony Mowbray, who was also substituted in the first half of the 2-2 draw due to an eye injury, should be ready for the second leg at Portman Road.

Bolton eliminated Ipswich at the same stage of the play-offs last year, but Town boss George Burley is adamant there is no thought of revenge in his mind.

We showed a lot of spirit to come back from 2-0 down, and I hope we can continue where we left off

George Burley
"It's not about getting our own back," insisted Burley.

"At the start of the season, we set out to get promotion, and that's still the aim. We are just looking to go one better than before and reach the final.

"I believe we are in a good position to do that, because we have a better squad than last season, and the players have done tremendously well to get this far."

Having lost both Johnson and Mowbray, Burley's side showed great spirit to battle back from 2-0 down on Sunday.

"Everything was going against us in that first half, but we dug in and pulled the situation around," added the manager.

"We showed a lot of spirit to come back from 2-0 down, and I hope we can continue where we left off.

"I think we have been unlucky, finishing third in the last two years and failing to go up automatically on the last day. But we are trying to put that out of our minds and we must concentrate on getting past Bolton."

Allardyce confident

Ipswich will start as favourites to get to Wembley, even if a rule change means the two goals they scored at Bolton will not count double in the event of a drawn aggregate score.

But Bolton boss Sam Allardyce believes his side can end Ipswich's promotion dreams for the second year in a row.

Obviously it was disappointing to go 2-0 up and then only manage to draw 2-2 - you always hope something like that isn't going to happen after making such a great start

Sam Allerdyce
"I am confident of getting a result down there. We have everything to play for at Portman Road and nothing to lose," he said.

"But the play-offs are a strange scenario and you can't take anything for granted.

"I think Ipswich feel they've already done the job by coming back to 2-2. But relaxation is the order of the day, we have to keep calm and make sure we conserve our energies ready for the big occasion.

"In the last few hours before the game the tension will start to build up and the nerves will come in - but we have got to use that pressure to our advantage and get a result."

Bolton will give a late fitness check to star striker Eidur Gudjohnsen, who picked up a knee injury on Sunday.

Scottish loan pair Paul Ritchie and Allan Johnston also took knocks at the weekend but are expected to be fit.

Barnsley protect a 4-0 lead in the other play-off second leg when they welcome Birmingham to Oakwell on Thursday night.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Football Contents

See also:

14 May 00 | Football
Stewart sparks Town comeback
12 May 00 | Football
Pressure of the play-offs
13 May 00 | Football
Brilliant Barnsley crush Blues
13 May 00 | Football
Bolton ready to end Ipswich dream