Stern John will be aiming to show Alan Pardew what he missed out on tomorrow.
The Trinidadian trained with Saints following Pardew’s arrival last July, but joined Crystal Palace instead a few days later.
Pardew declared he was unhappy with the circumstances surrounding John’s departure, saying he wanted him to stay and believing that John wanted to remain at the club.
John hit back by saying he was keen to stay at Saints but the club had dithered about offering him a new deal.
“He (Pardew) knows the truth and I know the truth,” John said at the time. “I told them I wanted to stay but they never sorted out a deal properly.”
John was sold by Roy Keane to Saints back in August 2007 as part of the deal which saw Kenywne Jones leave St Mary’s.
But Keane has been happy to hand him a regular run of games again after a year in the shadows John’s19 league goals – including two on the final day against Sheffield United – famously kept Nigel Pearson’s Saints out of the Championship relegation zone in 2007/08.
But the arrival of Jan Poortvliet, as well as Saints needing to reduce their wage bill, saw John initially out of favour the following season and then loaned to Bristol City in October 2008.
John only ever scored twice for the Robins, though, and quickly became a regular substitute under Gary Johnson.
He dislocated an elbow on his Palace debut in August and on his return to fitness struggled to get a regular game.
Keane swooped for the man he had sold two years earlier to bring him to Ipswich on loan, initially for the whole of December but recently extended to the end of this month.
John, who scored his first Town goal in the 3-2 home win over Coventry last weekend, could partner ex-Chester striker Jon Walters tomorrow.
Walters is Town’s joint top scorer with just six goals this season.
Keane could also be tempted to use teenage starlet Connor Wickham tomorrow.
Wickham was just 16 years and 11 days old when Keane gave him his first team debut last April.
He became Ipswich’s youngest ever player – and was 132 days younger than Theo Walcott was when he made his Saints debut against Wolves in 2005.
Wickham has started three league games this season with 11 sub appearances.