It's A Big Squad!

Trevor Brooking has named the biggest squad of the season to face Reading at the weekend - and keep opposing caretaker manager Kevin Dillon guessing about who will start!

Boosted by the return from injury of Rob Lee, as well as loan signings Niclas Alexandersson, who will wear number 20, and Wayne Quinn, Trevor has the luxury of several options ahead of the highly anticipated game.

Don Hutchison is also in the 22-man squad after overcoming the injury he had while on international duty with Scotland.

Trevor knows there is a huge focus on the match because of the managerial situation, but insists it is all about getting the three points and not any other side issues.

When he came in as a director a couple of years ago, to, in his words, "bring a closer link between the board and the dressing room" he had no idea just how close that link would become, to the extent of being right in it for what is coming up to his sixth game as caretaker manager.

"As each game comes around it assumes its own importance and, to be fair, the Reading one is very important for us and them," he says.

"Later on we still have to go to Reading and when you play those sides towards the top half a dozen you want to win your home games against them because otherwise you have to pick up points either going there or against other sides in the top echelons.

"So it will be a boost if we can get a win out of this particular game; I will certainly enjoy it if we get the right result but it is the cliche of taking it game by game."

He knows that whoever does take over the reins from him on a permanent basis will have a tremendous responsibility and adds:

"It is a job a lot of people want - and should do - with great potential, and, whatever anyone says, we do try to have the stability of continuity.

"If you keep brooding and thinking 'why are we here?' we are just going to flounder and drift along; we have to reverse that to pick ourselves up, and the team the confidence and the spirit on and off the pitch is good."

As for the win at Portman Road nearly a fortnight ago - keeping his unbeaten record as caretaker intact - he says:

"That was an important win; we always knew Ipswich would get better and to be honest their performance against us was a lot better than they had been doing.

"It is something we are going to have to deal with for the rest of the season because they will use us as the springboard and Joe had said it would be a full house good with a good atmosphere - the sort of match where the lads really want to get a good result.

"Jermain got an excellent goal and there were one or two close efforts while just before half time David James made a great save with his feet from Counago.

"In the second half they changed it a bit with Magilton dropping deeper and they took Santos off; Magilton started to get quite a bit of the ball and our front three trying to share the load of picking him up weren't really doing that which often happens with forwards.

"So we got Hutch on to do a job around Magilton because you could see him getting more and more into it; unfortunately they scored just before we replaced him but I thought when we did change it it settled down a bit and we had a couple of chances while David made a good save as well.

"But generally speaking I thought we deserved it although we had a wobble for 15 or 20 minutes - but I suppose away from home that is not a great surprise and, to be honest, we were still at least three players short in the squad."

SQUAD: James, Bywater, Lee, Hutchison, Carrick, Repka, Dailly, Pearce, Connolly, Mellor, Quinn, Horlock, Defoe, Etherington, McMahon, Sofiane, Noble, Garcia, Byrne, Ferdinand, Kilgallon, Alexandersson.