Good work out for Town
JOE Royle admits he still has some tinkering to do as Ipswich Town launch their promotion campaign next week, writes Derek Davis.They warmed up at home with a 1-1 draw against Levski Sofia last night with Pablo Counago hitting a great goal for the Blues.
JOE Royle admits he still has some tinkering to do as Ipswich Town launch their promotion campaign next week, writes Derek Davis.
They warmed up at home with a 1-1 draw against Levski Sofia last night with Pablo Counago hitting a great goal for the Blues.
Town have won five and now drawn one of their six pre-season games bagging 19 goals in the process but that streak will mean nothing if they don't start the season with a win over Reading next Saturday.
Royle said: "Rehearsals are over and we are ready to get going. Pre-season starts to drag and in games like this in front of a small crowd the atmosphere is strange. Next week in front of a throbbing full house when the crowd are up for it we will be too. It will be a different thing altogether."
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It was the first sight for many fans of the three new signings, Drissa Diallo, Georges Santos and Kelvin Davis and a new-look system, which may not be repeated against Reading next Saturday.
Royle said: "We still have a lot of work to do, especially if we persist with the 4-3-3, although we will keep with the four at the back.
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"I'm happy with the back four and when the front men are all playing well it is very dangerous, but when one gives the ball away then it is three men instead of two giving it away."
Levski play in the European Champions' League qualifying stage in a couple of weeks and Royle thought it was a good test for his team.
He said: "They are a good technical side who kept the ball but we should have sewn the game up in the first half when we had some good chances. They had one shot on target in 90 minutes and scored, although you can't deny it was a great strike.
"They had a couple of dangerous moments but we defended well and that was the big plus for us."
Royle was understandably delighted with his new signings and Santos was given a standing ovation when he was substituted.
He said: "Diallo was arguably the man of the match, Georges did his job well and Kelvin showed he is an excellent kicker of the ball even if he had nothing else to do all night."
Santos came off with a sore calf but it is believed to be a minor injury and he will be fit for the big kick-off.
Chris Makin missed the game as a precaution after picking up a thigh strain in training.
Levski manager Georgi Todorov thought his players were a little tired after flying in on the day following game in Holland on Thursday but praised Ipswich.
He said: "It was a good game. Both teams played really good, attractive football which I'm sure the crowd appreciated.
"It was a very good test for us as our season starts next week. Ipswich played in a very correct way and allowed us to play football which we appreciate. I wish them all the best for the new season."
n Ipswich Town goalkeeper James Pullen has joined Conference club Dagenham & Redbridge on a three-month loan deal.