Royle closes window

BARRING emergencies, Ipswich Town have finished with their dealings in the transfer market for the rest of the season.Just as the January transfer window closed last night with nothing disrupting the Championship title race, so the March deadline is expected to come and go without the Blues caring.

By Derek Davis

BARRING emergencies, Ipswich Town have finished with their dealings in the transfer market for the rest of the season.

Just as the January transfer window closed last night with nothing disrupting the Championship title race, so the March deadline is expected to come and go without the Blues caring.

Royle was not surprised in the slightest that no Premiership cub made a move for any of his young stars, but he doesn't see that as a slight on them in any way.


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He said: “I was always confident that we would not be losing anyone that we didn't want to. We made it pretty clear that we weren't selling and that put clubs off.

“Money is still tight and it wasn't just us. Clubs didn't go in for any of the players at Wigan and Sunderland either.”

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With the paperwork for David Unsworth's loan deal completed yesterday morning, and Monaco's Jimmy Juan expected to be fit again next week after joining until the end of the season, Royle is happy that this squad of players will be enough to compete in the final Championship title push.

He said: “That is us now. Unless we come up against some sort of emergency I can't see us bring in any more players.

“Getting David Unsworth in was very pleasing for me. He has played with four Premiership clubs and is vastly experienced. He can also play as a centre-back where he was capped for England.”

Unsworth admitted Royle and Willie Donachie were big factors in his decision to join Ipswich, initially on loan, but that could become permanent.

He said: “The move came out of the blue really. The two chairmen did the deal and I was told I could go, which caught me out a bit.

“I got injured after the new manager (Velimir Zajec) came in at Portsmouth and was on the sidelines for three or four weeks and when I returned to fitness, the team was doing okay and it was hard to break back into the side.

“But what has happened this season at Portsmouth has been like a soap opera and it will be nice to come to a club where it's a bit quieter off the pitch and we can just concentrate on playing football.

“I know a few of the lads here, Jim Magilton and Kevin Horlock are two I've played against a few times, and I'm looking forward to training with the players this week and, hopefully, playing my part on Saturday.

“I'm here until the end of the season and, hopefully, I can play a role in helping Ipswich win promotion to the Premiership. After that, I'm not sure what my future will be. A lot will depend on what Portsmouth say.”

Town are also hoping to have Drissa Diallo back in the fold soon, although his recovery has not gone as quick as hoped, he should be playing again in 10 days or so.

The Blues returned from Tenerife to the blue skies of the Ipswich training ground yesterday and Royle is relishing the final third of the season, starting against the side Town beat 5-1 in November.

He said: “It is back to reality now and Sheffield United away on Saturday. They play with three centre-backs so that will make it hard for our strikers but we will look at was of breaking them down.

“It will be a competitive game, especially after the result down here.”

Meanwhile, Jaime Peters is expected to return to Portman Road on Thursday after playing in Canada Under-20's successful World Championship qualifying bid, with the Maple Leaf side beating Honduras, Mexico and Jamaica.

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