Pipedream for Joe

THERE is an expression that is fondly used in football when a team, or player, is having a comfortable game.It is cigar and deckchair time.But as we all know, smoking can damage your health and in Ipswich's case too often this season they have been burnt by lapses of concentration.

THERE is an expression that is fondly used in football when a team, or player, is having a comfortable game.

It is cigar and deckchair time.

But as we all know, smoking can damage your health and in Ipswich's case too often this season they have been burnt by lapses of concentration.

Older readers may well remember a tobacco advert that described the moment when, puffing away merrily, your thoughts wandered off to pleasant climes. It was dubbed 'a Condor moment'.


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Blues boss Joe Royle made the comparison to the long since defunct advert when talking about the incident when Georges Santos, was caught out by a simple long ball and Danny Dichio escaped from the Frenchman to go on and beat Kelvin Davis. Seconds earlier a needless free-kick cost Town dearly as Peter Kennedy curled one in from 30-yards.

A fuming Royle said: "Fabian has been terrific throughout but gave a daft foul away. And he knows that himself.

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"Big Georges was fantastic but had a Condor moment for their second, although he looked to me to be offside."

Little wonder Royle had the air of an exasperated man as he mulled over the Jekyll and Hyde character that is his side.

He groaned: "It was another identi-kit version of us. We looked comfortable first half until we gave away two goals.

"An unnecessary foul and then everyone is ball watching and we come in two-down instead of nil-nil.

"We just don't seem to have a clean sheet in us although in mitigation we were short in defence.

"First half we did not threaten Derby, enough even though we had three up front. We did not get behind them.

"We did second half and we showed again we can score from anywhere but we have to find a four defensively that can find us a clean sheet."

But he was equally delighted with the way his side once more showed resilience and character to claw back into the game.

He said: "Fair play to our players we may lack a clean sheet but they don't lack spirit and to fight back from two down shows that.

"We could have gone on and won the game. Shefki had the chance to win it, two chances he carved out, but I suppose a point was fair enough in the end.

"Derby will be happy they have not lost the game."

Other results meant Town stayed in seventh but there are now four clubs just one point behind Town, who are in turn behind sixth-placed West Ham on goal difference, although the Hammers have a game in hand.

Royle said: "I felt it was a chance to go into the top six but the two weeks will help us. Pablo is going to be out with a hamstring.

"But we will have Richard Naylor and Chris Bart-Williams back for the game against Sheffield United."

With the squad stretched, Royle gave 18-year-old Scott Mitchell a deserved debut sending him on with time added-on looming.

Royle said; "He did not have a lot to do but what he did he did precisely. He is a very confident lad and we are delighted with him. He has made great strides."

The Town boss had been forced to put on Dean Bowditch earlier than intended when Pablo Counago tweaked a hamstring and then brought the talented youngster off to use Alun Armstrong.

Royle admitted a couple of players who played key roles in the goals might not have been on the pitch.

He said: "Westy has done well, he has made great progress in midfield. If John McGreal had been fit Westy probably would not have played but he has made a statement there. We are having to play systems that suit the fit players. I thought Benty had blown a gasket and I was about to bring him off before he scored.

"And Dean has an exceptional talent and I want to feed him in and out, He has done his bit and we then wanted Alun Armstrong's size and physical presence on (the pitch).

"Alun did well and won some good balls for us, when he eventually got his boots on."

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