No transfer effort from Blues

THE transfer window will close tomorrow with the Blues making no effort to sign anyone until the end of the season.Instead Blues boss Joe Royle will use the remaining seven games of the season looking to win as many points as possible while planning for an assault on the Championship next season.

By Derek Davis

THE transfer window will close tomorrow with the Blues making no effort to sign anyone until the end of the season.

Instead Blues boss Joe Royle will use the remaining seven games of the season looking to win as many points as possible while planning for an assault on the Championship next season.

While Royle and his players won't write this campaign off while there is still a mathematical possibility of making the play-offs, the Blues are clearly planning ahead.


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With Ricardo Fuller having gone back to Southampton and a few injuries persisting, especially Jimmy Juan who misses Saturday's game against Hull City, Town are still a little stretched.

Instead of bringing in any temporary stop-gaps, however, Royle will give experience to his younger players and those like Sam Parkin, Nicky Forster and Jay McEveley who are getting closer to playing again after injury.

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Town have again been linked with Manchester United's Guiseppe Rossi in the national press, along with Preston, but Royle told the EADT last month he was no longer interested in the hitman.

Royle said: “I asked about Rossi two months ago but we would not be interested now. Preston might be with David Nugent out, but not us.

“We have Dean McDonald and Billy Clarke waiting to play, and before the end of the season I hope to see Sam Parkin and possibly Nicky Forster back playing.

“We have a lot to look forward to with the abundance of strikers we have when they're all fit, and good young players coming along very nicely.”

And Royle does not anticipate losing anyone else from his team with Jim Magilton almost certain to stay after being approached by Oxford United.

Royle said: “It was always down to Jim and still is but I think he is staying and I'm more than happy with that. He was excellent again on Saturday and some of his passing was sublime.”

Dean Bowditch could return from his loan spell at Wycombe early next month but that won't be decided until then, while Aidan Collins got off to a winning start for Stockport County last weekend.

And Royle last night made it very clear he intends to be leading the Blues again next season, dismissing persistent rumours that he will leave at the end of this season.

Royle revealed that he will not be working during the World Cup as a pundit for the BBC as he did so successfully four years ago in Japan/Korea but instead will be recharging his batteries for the new season with Ipswich.

The Town manager has one more year on his contract at Portman Road and reiterated what he told the EADT a couple of months ago, that he would be honouring that.

Nicky Forster, who is recovering from a second cartilage operation, could play for Ipswich Reserves at Needham Market on Friday.

Club physio Dave Williams said: “It is possible he may play some part of the reserves match against West Ham on Friday night. It will be down to how he reacts to training over the next few days.

“He is upbeat about his recovery and is desperate to get back as soon as possible.”

Forster, 32, has been restricted to just 16 first-team appearances this season after knee surgery in August and then last month.

n Jordan Rhodes, son of Ipswich Town's goalkeeping coach Andy, has signed a three-year deal with the club, and will be full-time at the Playford Road Academy in the summer.

Rhodes, 16, has been prolific for the club's Under-16 and Under-18s this season, hitting 32 goals in just over 20 games.

He joined the club from Barnsley's Academy when his father came south to work with the goalkeepers under Joe Royle. His deal includes two years as an Academy scholar and one as a professional.

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