It's Premiership or bust for Royle

BLUES boss Joe Royle has revealed he intends this to be his last job in football.One year after the EADT exclusively revealed the former Oldham, Everton and Manchester City boss was to be unveiled as George Burley's successor, Royle confirmed it is the Premiership or bust.

BLUES boss Joe Royle has revealed he intends this to be his last job in football, writes Derek Davis.

One year after the EADT exclusively revealed the former Oldham, Everton and Manchester City boss was to be unveiled as George Burley's successor, Royle confirmed it is the Premiership or bust.

Royle has 20 months left on his contract but knows he has to take Town back to the Premiership by the end of this season to be sure of the final year.

After losing just one game in the past 10, and with a third of the season gone, Ipswich are poised on the shoulders of the automatic promotion places.


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Royle celebrated his first anniversary at Ipswich Town with an unbeaten month after picking up a point with a 1-1 draw at Preston.

The Blues manager led his side to five wins and a draw during October and is the obvious choice for a second Manager of the Month award. It bodes well for Town, and Royle, who will walk away from football when his tenure at Portman Road is over.

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He said: "I would like to think this is my job. But that is not for me to say.

"I have never worked under threat and I'm at the stage at 54, and after doing the job 22 years if people don't like what I'm doing then – well, let's put it this way. I have never been short of a job offer and I don't mean that in a conceited way."

With homes in Majorca and the north-west, Royle is not short of cash and is determined to finish his career with a flourish. He is closing in on the landmark of 1,000 matches as a manager.

He said: "I'm doing this for all the right motives. I didn't come here because I needed a job. I had a job working for television which meant I enjoyed living the lifestyle I wanted without the stress.

"I have not thought about landmarks. If I feel it is the right time to go, or if someone else who matters does, then even if it is my 999th game then I will go.

"It is a figure, a nice landmark. If I had 1,000 games and never won anything then it would all be a waste of time anyway but as it happens I'm proud of my CV.

"I review the club, myself, the players, everything on a daily basis and you have to self-assess then if at any time it was not right then it would not be fair to hang around."

The Town boss took his Blues record to 56 games with Pablo Counago equalising from the spot at Preston to hand the manager his 13th draw, to go with the 27 wins.

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