No move for the Goat

THE Blues will not be feeding 'the Goat' this season.Ipswich manager Joe Royle last night dismissed suggestions that he will be looking to sign striker Shaun Goater (pictured below), who has been released by Reading.

By Derek Davis

THE Blues will not be feeding 'the Goat' this season.

Ipswich manager Joe Royle last night dismissed suggestions that he will be looking to sign striker Shaun Goater (pictured below), who has been released by Reading.

The Bermudian international was instantly linked with a move to rejoin his old Manchester City boss at Ipswich but Royle confirmed his interest in the striker, who he tried to get from the Royals last year, had ended.


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Royle said: “We have no room for another attacker. We are limited in what we can do financially and our hot-spot is the defence, so the funds I have available will be directed at bringing in two defenders.

“We are an attacker down on last year. Also a midfielder and a keeper, but the defence is the priority.”

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Royle also ruled out a move for Greek international defender Nikos Dabizas who was named as a possible Town target but looks more likely to join Anderlecht.

Spanish full-back Luis Rodriguez joined in training with the Blues squad yesterday and impressed Royle and his staff.

Royle said: “Luis will train with us again and looked a neat and compact defender who is scheduled to play a part in the friendly against Atletico Madrid.”

Jimmy Juan and Kevin Horlock are fit and will play, while Dean McDonald is pencilled in to line up alongside Sam Parkin spearheading the attack, with Dean Bowditch and Nicky Forster unlikely to be risked as they recover from a foot and thigh injury respectively.

Darryl Knights will be included in the squad to face the Spanish giants at Portman Road, in a game that kicks off at 7.45pm.

The youth-team striker from Chantry was not fit enough to travel to Hungary after injury but gets his chance to catch the eye once more after making his first-team debut away at Sunderland last season.

Town will be hoping their last home friendly before the season starts will pull in the crowds to supply much needed revenue - and they will witness a win.

Royle said: “While pre-season results are not that much of a concern, it would be good to get a win at home before the season starts.

“These games can sometimes be a guideline but I have seen both sides of how a team does in pre-season and then when the campaign starts in anger.

“A couple of years ago we had a fantastic pre-season but then didn't win in our first six games.

“So I'm not overly concerned. We deliberately wanted a stiff warm-up and that is what we have had.”

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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