Football: Parkes has the pick of Kidd's bunch

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The Independent Online
TONY PARKES returns for his umpteenth encore as Blackburn's caretaker no doubt expectant that this week's unseemly sideshow - the departure of Brian Kidd after 11 months as manager - will not cast too long a pall over today's main event at Ewood Park.

Once again Jack Walker, the Lancashire club's benefactor, is reliant on the unassuming Parkes to reverse the trend of recent weeks - not a win in their previous five games - against the formidable challenge of Ipswich, lying fourth in the First Division.

Parkes could recall Steve Harkness, available after a six-week absence because of an ankle injury, but Keith Gillespie (ankle) is still struggling. Parkes has a full complement of strikers to choose from in Ashley Ward, Egil Ostenstad, Matt Jansen - Kidd signings all - and Nathan Blake.

George Burley has doubts over the briefly Scottish David Johnson (thigh) and James Scowcroft (knee) as his Ipswich side seek to recover from their midweek defeat at Huddersfield. Tony Mowbray, who had a stomach bug, could return.

Manchester City, who bolstered their position at the head of the table with a 4-2 defeat of Portsmouth on Thursday, travel to Queen's Park Rangers with Gareth Taylor continuing in attack while Shaun Goater (hamstring) and Paul Dickov (knee ligaments) again miss out. The home side have doubts over the fitness of Chris Kiwomya and Paul Murray, who both picked up knocks in the sterling 3-3 draw with Stockport in midweek.