Leave Wright alone - Royle

by Derek DavisIPSWICH boss Joe Royle has appealed to the Blues boo boys to lay off Jermaine Wright.After being voted Town's most improved player in the first year back in the Premiership, midfielder Wright has been targeted for abuse for the past two seasons, culminating in a section of supporters booing him whenever he touched the ball towards the end of the 5-1 defeat by Wimbledon.

by Derek Davis

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle has appealed to the Blues boo boys to lay off Jermaine Wright.

After being voted Town's most improved player in the first year back in the Premiership, midfielder Wright has been targeted for abuse for the past two seasons, culminating in a section of supporters booing him whenever he touched the ball towards the end of the 5-1 defeat by Wimbledon.

But Royle is determined to stick by the former Millwall and Wolves player who joined Town in the summer of 1999 in a £600,000 move from Crewe.


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While striker Alun Armstrong was handed a free transfer on Friday, Royle is looking to keep hold of Wright.

He said: "Jermaine was not our worst player by far against Wimbledon and I was a bit disappointed with the reaction of some of our supporters to him.

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"We all have opinions about players and it is not unusual for managers to see things in players others don't. He is very much part of my plans and we will not be giving him a free transfer."

Royle was choked with emotion after leading the players back out to the centre circle to applaud the 5,000 or so fans who would not leave until they had taken a bow for the season.

He said: "The most astonishing thing for me at the end was the response from the fans. I expected bullets and bottles and insults but they were fantastic.

"Even as a hardened pro in the game like me I was genuinely moved by the reception we were given.

"It was quite surreal, I'm sure there are many grounds where if you bowed out with a 5-1 loss there would be brickbats and not bouquets

"For the fans we want to put it right next season.

"It is not all doom and gloom. We have shown on our best days that we have the promise we need for next season and I want us to hit the 70-point mark at Derby next week."

Another daft day of defending cost Town dear and missed chances proved just as costly.

Royle said: "It has been a season of mights and maybes, could of and should have, and the 90 minutes was a complete pictorial of our season. We made enough chances in 20 minutes to be three or four up and come in at one down and they didn't really have a shot against us. In the second half we have conceded four goals from four shots.

"It was a daft day and we defended like amateurs. We missed chances at the other end and if you want a reason why we have not gone that extra yard this season there it is.

"We cannot go on needing to score three goals to win games and that has been our problem."

Royle has been consistently loyal to his players, pointing to collective responsibility for defeats, but while he will not name names, he will not be happy with another Andy Marshall mistake which cost the first goal.

He said: "Even now after missing chances our goals for will be highly respectable but our goals against won't be and that is the direction we will be looking to strengthen this summer.

"The week I came here I identified what was needed and nothing has changed. The ban on loans has not helped us so hopefully we can come out of administration next month and start seriously planning for next season.

"There is a great base here and with the young players coming through and a couple of additions we will be a strong bet. Even in the first 20 minutes you could see how we can play and there is no-one else in this division who can play at our best.

"We just need to improve in some quarters and we must learn to defend better as a team. There are some players out there who don't think defending is in their contract. The best sides in the country have 11 men defending, not just the back four or five."

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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