Norwegian impresses Joe

NORWEGIAN trialist Vemund Brekke-Skard has given Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle food for thought after doing so well on his trial at Portman Road.Blues bosses have been impressed enough with Skard after watching him play in a 1-0 behind-closed-doors win over Spurs and in training, to consider offering him a contract, although no decision will be made until after he completes his week-long trial tomorrow.

By Derek Davis

NORWEGIAN trialist Vemund Brekke-Skard has given Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle food for thought after doing so well on his trial at Portman Road.

Blues bosses have been impressed enough with Skard after watching him play in a 1-0 behind-closed-doors win over Spurs and in training, to consider offering him a contract, although no decision will be made until after he completes his week-long trial tomorrow.

As Skard has not signed professional contracts with any other clubs the Blues may explore the possibility of being able to take him even though the transfer window is closed.


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The 24-year-old midfielder arrived in Suffolk on Sunday after playing in the last two games of the Norwegian season for part-time club Brummunddal. They play in Division Two, Group Two of the Norwegian League

Royle said: “Skard did fine considering he has come from amateur football in Norway. We still have a couple of days before we make a decision but he has impressed.

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“The main thing though is we need impact payers, someone who can come in and make a difference. We are well stocked for the future it is now we need someone.”

Skard is studying to be a teacher and trains part time, a trip that takes two hours each way from his home to the club.

Meanwhile, Town's injured midfield trio are at various stages of their comebacks.

Ian Westlake is expected to train with the first team squad today and is on course for a return in mid-November.

The 21-year-old has recovered well from ankle ligament damage and aims to play in a reserve match within the next 10 days.

He even hopes to be on the bench for the game against Plymouth a week on Saturday and to be available to play against Coventry City on November 19.

Kevin Horlock is still struggling with painful ribs and is unlikely to be back until around the same time.

There is better news on Owen Garvan, however. He is doubtful for the trip to Brighton but has an outside chance of being ready in time for Wednesday's game at Derby.

Keeper Lewis Price is battling to be fit for the Brighton match after discovering he was suffering from bronchitis, which kept him out of the game against Watford, and not just a heavy cold as first thought.

Shane Supple stepped in and did well against the Hornets and is on stand-by to keep his place at the Withdean Stadium.

Royle is demanding his players give a better account of themselves when they go to Brighton on Saturday looking for their first win in four games.

The Town squad have not been given a day off this week following their drop to 14th place after picking up just one point from a possible nine.

Even without his battling midfielders, Royle expects better.

He said: “We are looking for a big improvement on the last few games. We have players here who are good with the ball and they know they can do better.

“We have a soft underbelly at the moment but you can't change players' mentality. We are missing our ball-winning players like Westy and Kevin but even so we are capable of more.”

Brighton may be boosted by the return of Jason Dodd at right-back after a successful reserve team appearance following an ankle operation.

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