Rivers makes Town switch

BLUES boss Joe Royle is hoping the boo-boys stay silent after Mark Rivers took the plunge and joined Ipswich Town on trial from East Anglian neighbours Norwich City, writes Derek Davis.

BLUES boss Joe Royle is hoping the boo-boys stay silent after Mark Rivers took the plunge and joined Ipswich Town on trial from East Anglian neighbours Norwich City, writes Derek Davis.

The 28-year-old will train with the Blues this morning and is pencilled in to play in Town's friendly against Peterborough tomorrow.

The Blues are also hoping to be able to present today another midfielder, from a Premiership club, who can play in the defensive holding role.

Rivers was released from his City contract yesterday afternoon even though it had a year to run and, despite strong interest from Burnley, he opted to go to Ipswich Town, initially on trial to prove his fitness.


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As a Premiership player he was not due back for pre-season training until next week and so he will, naturally, be behind the Town players.

The former Crewe Alexandra winger will also have to work that little bit harder to be accepted by a section of Town fans, given his Norwich connection.

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Royle, himself a former Canary, believes the traditional rivalry should not affect the attacking midfielder's chances of making his mark at Portman Road.

He said: "Too much is made of that. Andy Marshall always had a difficult time here but if he had done well then the supporters would not have cared if he had come from Norwich or from Mars. It is the same for Mark."

Rivers said: "I can't see it being a problem. I hadn't really been part of it at Norwich for some time. It's not as if I've been a regular in the side – I can't see people being too upset. On top of that I've only ever played in one derby before, the one where we lost 2-0 at home the season before last.

"It's been a frustrating spell and now I just want to put it behind me. All I want to do is play regular football at a decent level so, hopefully, something might come out of it. Ipswich were the first ones to show an interest."

Rivers, who started his career at his home town club Crewe, joined City for £500,000 in May 2001 and has scored 11 goals in his 82 appearances, 60 as a starter.

He has not played for the Canaries since January after recovering from damaged ankle ligaments. He made a brief appearance in the 4-4 draw at Rotherham on January 17 but never even made the bench after that.

Royle is also hoping to secure another midfielder this morning and the name will be announced once he has shown his face at training.

Meanwhile, Town have drawn Brentford at home in the first round of the Carling Cup. The Bees have former Newmarket Town striker Alex 'Tiger' Rhodes in their ranks.

n Micky Adams has confirmed that Chris Makin is on trial at Leicester City and will travel with them for their two-game tour of Estonia and Finland next week.

n Former Ipswich and Norwich goalkeeper Andy Marshall last night signed a two-year deal with Millwall, the team he joined on loan from Town last season and played for in the FA Cup final.

Marshall, 29, will be competing with on-loan Arsenal keeper Graham Stack for the No. 1 jersey.

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