Royle confirms Rogers interest

BLUES boss Joe Royle last night confirmed he would be interested in signing Nottingham Forest defender Alan Rogers, writes Derek Davis.Royle also insisted Ipswich Town will appeal any ban for skipper Jim Magilton after his sending-off in Hungary last Friday against Ujpest TE.

BLUES boss Joe Royle last night confirmed he would be interested in signing Nottingham Forest defender Alan Rogers, writes Derek Davis.

Royle also insisted Ipswich Town will appeal any ban for skipper Jim Magilton after his sending-off in Hungary last Friday against Ujpest TE.

He said: “I have seen the video and all Jim is guilty of is of being head-butted. We are waiting to see if the Hungarian FA do send in a report and, if they do, then we will vigorously protest.”

Losing their influential skipper would be a big blow for Town, who have skimpy cover throughout.


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Midfielders Jimmy Juan and Kevin Horlock have improved from the injuries that forced them to miss the trip to Hungary and both could play against Atletico Madrid on Friday.

Fabian Wilnis, who suffered a dead leg against Diosgyor on Sunday, hopes to be fit for the Spanish friendly but Town are still short of experienced players and Royle would love to bring in someone of Rogers' ilk.

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Rogers has played in the Premiership with Forest and Leicester City and has also had spells at Tranmere and Wigan.

The highly-rated 28-year-old Liverpool-born defender has played more than 200 games for Forest in two spells at the City Ground but, as manager Gary Megson makes big changes at the relegated club, Rogers may be one who is allowed to leave and play at a higher level.

Royle said: “We have not spoken to Alan and, as far as we are aware, he is still contracted to Forest. But if the situation was to change, or he was to become available, then he is a player that we could be interested in.”

Rogers could miss the start of the season after being sent off at the weekend in a goalless draw with city neighbours Notts County.

Royle also has his eyes on a couple of Premiership players but knows he has to be patient if he wants to land one of those.

They may not become available until later in August as bosses tweak their squads and then be prepared to allow players out on loan. As the transfer window now fully affects Football League clubs, loaned players must be taken for at least three months, or the whole season.

Royle said: “It is a case of waiting. It is not something that can be forced. I still maintain we have a more than decent first team but we do need numbers.

“The young players who went to Hungary did exactly as we expected and did well but we still need more battle-hardened troops.”

The Town manager is making his own steady recovery from major surgery, after having a knee replaced. He missed the trip to Hungary on medical advice but has seen tapes of the games and will take charge of the team against the Primera Liga side on Friday night.

It will be the first time Town have faced a side who have not been training longer than them in pre-season, and they will look to get a result under their belts after three straight defeats.

Royle is not overly concerned by the defeats by Rangers, Ujpest and Diosgyor, which came after wins at Cambridge United and Boston.

He said: “We have had a very stiff pre-season schedule. We knew it was going to be a tough build-up but that is what we wanted.”

After the Madrid game at Portman Road, Town go to Colchester United next Tuesday to face Phil Parkinson's free-scoring side, which will be another good test, before facing Cardiff City at home in their Championship opener on August 6.

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