Royle goes in striker search

JOE Royle will go in search of a new striker this week with Kevin Lisbie at Charlton and Daniel Dichio at West Bromwich Albion among those thought to be high on his list.

JOE Royle will go in search of a new striker this week with Kevin Lisbie at Charlton and Daniel Dichio at West Bromwich Albion among those thought to be high on his list.

Lisbie scored for the Addicks reserves last week, in front of Royle, while Dichio was an unused substitute on Saturday after scoring twice in the Baggies reserves against Newcastle last week.

Chelsea's young striker Sebastien Kneissl is another attracting interest after hitting six goals in four reserve games and Claudio Ranieri has told the 20-year-old he can go out on loan.

The Town boss last night admitted he had not yet spoken to any clubs about taking a player on loan but has pin-pointed a target man as a necessity to try and lift Ipswich Town off the bottom of Division One.

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Royle failed in his bid to land Everton's Duncan Ferguson after Toffees boss David Moyes said he wasn't available. The big Scot went on as a substitute against Newcastle United on Saturday and scored from the penalty spot, his first senior goal since April 2002.

Royle also dipped out on landing Geoff Horsefield after Birmingham agreed to loan him but the former Fulham striker chose a permanent deal at Wigan instead. Arsenal's Francis Jeffers was also a target but he went to Everton on loan.

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With Town's striker not finding form, Alun Armstrong picking up a dead-leg and Marcus Bent, who was at the Hawthorns watching the game on Saturday, looking forward to making his debut for Leicester City tonight, Royle is ready to move into the loan market again.

He said: "We need a threat at the other end from someone and we are looking.

"We are still considering our options, we have not tried anyone since Duncan but that doesn't mean we won't."

Richard Naylor was the marksman for Town as they went down 4-1 at the Hawthorns, and that was before he reverted back to being a forward.

Royle was less than happy with his defence after three of the Baggies goals came from set pieces.

Royle said: "Our defending was abysmal. The goals we have conceded have been two free headers and a goalkeeping error and an own goal, that tells you how shoddy we have been.

"Daft as it may sound, in between that we have passed the ball quite well but the problem at the moment, despite conceding four, is that we don't look like scoring and that is putting extra pressure on us."

But despite the trouncing Royle insisted Ipswich had played well in between the four goals.

He said: "Apart from the keeper picking four out of the net he has not had much to do, it is not as if we were under siege.

"They play a more direct game than us and there is very little that can go wrong and they do it well. They are a big side, it is like the Land of the Giants here, and they are outstanding at corners and free kicks and we could not handle it."

Royle was also impressed with his two loan signings, Alan Mahon and Chris Bart-Williams.

He said: "Alan did very well and flitted in and out of the game while Chris settled in nicely. We passed the ball but they scored the goals.

"Our keeper has been as safe as houses but he dropped a dolly, and it wasn't a good day for us defensively.

"We can play better and when we are at our best we are one of the best.

"We kept passing and we were lightweight at times. We badly need our forwards to hit form it is as simple as that.

"We have been lightweight up front no matter who we have had up there and I have seen nothing to make me think otherwise, except perhaps Darren Bent in flashes, but we badly need a goal.

"We just didn't hurt them."

Asked what he thought about Ipswich being bottom of the table he answered: "There is only one place to go now."

A mainly Under-19s side will take on Chelsea reserves at Aldershot Town tonight.

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