Royle delighted with response

BLUES boss Joe Royle was delighted by the way his team answered their critics after the jeers and tears of last week following their 3-1 home defeat to Wigan, writes Derek Davis.

BLUES boss Joe Royle was delighted by the way his team answered their critics after the jeers and tears of last week following their 3-1 home defeat to Wigan, writes Derek Davis.

This time Town celebrated a 3-1 home win and Royle had a ready reply for those foolish enough to write off their promotion chances just yet.

He said: "We are a decent side and reports of not being promoted are somewhat premature.

"There was pressure on the team because we got booed off here last week and that is not nice for anyone. But we are back up in fourth and there is plenty of life left in us yet."


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Royle had praise for all his troops, in particular strike duo Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi.

He said: "Darren scored a fantastic goal at any standard.

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"They did well as a pair. They are both quick players which causes problems for the opposition and by the end of the game, the Bradford back four were fed up chasing them."

Royle forgave Kuqi his miss and preferred to look at the nine in 25 games that he has scored. He said: "He has slipped and credit him he has kept going. You can't argue with the goals he has got since he has been here and all good goals. He has done terrific for us. His work-rate for the team and the way he creates things for others is great."

If other chances had gone in Town could easily have doubled their scoreline but Royle was pleased enough. He added: "It was nice to win again, a good performance, three goals and it could have been more comfortable.

"Bradford still had to be beaten and bearing in mind the reaction to last week's home defeat they did well.

"They will argue about our second but I have seen the video and there does not look to be any contact at all.

"We moved the ball a bit quicker and our front two are quick. We had a quick, energetic team out there and Ian Westlake added to that energy.

"I was cursing on half-time when they made it 1-1 but then Westy has got in and got the second and then our keeper has not had a save to make in the second half."

Although the goal they conceded was disappointing, Royle was delighted to have John McGreal back in the side and said: "John is a terrific player and we have missed him. We have not complained about this but we have missed John for most of the season and Chris Makin and more recently Fabian Wilnis.

"Matt Richards did fine, he was caught out a little for the goal but he joined in well and his willingness to take the ball was fantastic.

"Drissa is a great defender, and although we don't expect too many crosses from him he did put in the ball of the day for Westy who might have scored."

Chris Bart-Williams, Pablo Counago and Martijn Reuser, were all dropped but Royle insists the rest will do them good, in particular Bart-Williams who has struggled with a back injury.

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