Fabian Wilnis is facing a desperate race against time to be fit for Ipswich Town's weekend clash with Coventry City.

The Dutch defender, who missed the 2-1 triumph at Middlesbrough on Monday, has suffered a setback in his bid to shake off an ankle problem.

Wilnis suffered the injury after a training ground collision with Alun Armstrong but expected to be back in contention against the Sky Blues at Portman Road.

When he woke up yesterday, though, his ankle was badly swollen - making it touch-and-go whether he can help Town continue their crusade for European qualification.

Wilnis said: "I hate missing games at any time but to be injured for such an important match, bearing in mind we could secure our place in the UEFA Cup, would be a big blow.

"I'm desperate to play but will just have to wait and see what happens. It may be that my ankle settles down as quickly as it swelled up.

"I haven't been able to train all week but I've still got a couple more days before the game so I'm keeping everything crossed."

Wilnis, who scored the winner when Town won 1-0 at Highfield Road in November, added: "It will be a very tough match because Coventry, and especially John Hartson, have been doing so well recently.

"Both of us are desperate for the points but for very different reasons."

Meanwhile, the Blues are set to begin demolishing their North Stand on May 8 - if plans to build a new 7,000-capacity stand are given the go-ahead by Ipswich Council.

Converted for the new archive on 19 November 2001. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.