Royle: Croft is a threat

THE spectre of former players coming back to haunt Town has got Blues boss Joe Royle on red alert.While Ipswich have been quietly getting on with their preparation for Sunday's game Royle is not being fooled by reports of discontent at Cardiff.

THE spectre of former players coming back to haunt Town has got Blues boss Joe Royle on red alert, writes Derek Davis.

While Ipswich have been quietly getting on with their preparation for Sunday's game Royle is not being fooled by reports of discontent at Cardiff. He has warned his players that the Bluebirds, including former Ipswich defender Gary Croft, will be united at Portman Road looking to dump on Town's play-off chances.

Royle said: "I had a smile when I read the story but that won't be a distraction. There are other things to consider like people coming back.

"We have already seen with the likes of Andy Marshall and David Johnson recently, that we have to beware of them and that will be the same with Gary Croft.


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"There is also Martyn Margetson who I gave a free transfer to when I was at Manchester City. So there will be plenty players in their team motivated to do well.

"Robert Earnshaw loves scoring a goal and their manager Lennie Lawrence is very experienced, one of the few who has gone past the 1,000 game mark. Wherever he has been he has done well and he hates to lose games. So we have to stay focused."

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With Sunderland beating Norwich City and West Ham's goal difference virtually assuring them of a top-six place already, Royle sees the fight for the other places between themselves, Crystal Palace and Wigan but is ignoring what is going on elsewhere.

He said: "It doesn't matter what happens around us. I have looked at the permutations but whatever happens if we win we are in. I know Sheffield United and Reading will be hoping for freak set of results but realistically it is between us, Palace and Wigan."

The Blues beat Cardiff 3-2 at Ninian Park back in November and will be looking for their sixth double of the season, although Royle prefers to look forwards.

He said: "The past counts for nothing. It comes down to 90 minutes plus stoppage time on Sunday. It is one game and we know what we have to do."

n Ipswich Town Reserves wrap up their league schedule this afternoon against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground, 2pm. Georges Santos and Chris Bart-Williams are included in the 19-man squad but will both have fitness tests this morning.

Ipswich Town squad: Lewis, Supple, Mitchell, Boardley, Santos, Collins, Flack, Garvan, Craig, Bart-Williams, Atay, Hogg, Patten, Sobers, Lorden, Beveridge, Manning and Synott.

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