Royle hails the old and the new

Stoke City 2 Ipswich Town 2BLUES boss Joe Royle hailed the old and new of Ipswich Town after a well-deserved point at Stoke City. In many ways, the draw at the Britannia Stadium was more satisfying than beating Luton Town at home two days earlier, given that the Blues had to make so many changes to the side through injury and suspension.

Stoke City 2 Ipswich Town 2

BLUES boss Joe Royle hailed the old and new of Ipswich Town after a well-deserved point at Stoke City.

In many ways, the draw at the Britannia Stadium was more satisfying than beating Luton Town at home two days earlier, given that the Blues had to make so many changes to the side through injury and suspension.

It was also the entertaining style and gritty determination of the performance that delighted the manager.


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Royle said: “Considering we were makeshift, to say the least, I thought we were fantastic.

“From the oldest man on the pitch at 36, Jim Magilton, to the youngest at 18, in Shane Supple, we played some great football, so I can't fault them.

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“We had kids here there and everywhere and even lost a player on the coach, when Danny Haynes told us he had a bad knee but had not wanted to say so before - bless him - and I had to change the team sheet.”

The Blues stormed into a two-goal lead within 17 minutes through Jason De Vos and Fabian Wilnis, before the powerful Potters muscled their way back to snatch a 2-2 draw.

City struggled to cope with Town's attacking game as they dazzled in the opening period with their game plan.

Royle said: “The last thing we said to them was just keep the ball and keep passing and things will happen. We passed and moved and it did, and if Gavin Williams had scored at the end, it would have been a terrific goal through the way it was crafted.

“It was a shame but we will take the point and look towards the weekend and the FA Cup tie against Portsmouth and have a head count.”

The Blues were undone by a defensive mistake that led to former Norwich City star Darel Russell pulling one back for City and a second-half corner headed in by Mamady Sidibe.

Royle said: “Their first goal has killed us, when young Aidan Collins has come back to our goal when he didn't need to, and it cost us. We were 2-0 up at that point and they had not seen the ball, never mind looked like scoring.

“They got a barrage of corners in the second half and that was always going to hurt us.

“At 2-0, we were cruising and, when it got to 2-2, they had some skirmishes and might feel they could have won it but we had the last and best chance through Williams and credit the keeper, he made a terrific save, so 2-2 was probably about right.”

“Bearing in mind all our problems I would have taken a point before the game. I wanted to rest players but we had no choice.”

Ipswich will take a lot more than just a point from the performance with Scott Barron, making his first full start in the league, catching the eye in a starting line-up that included five home-grown players..

Royle said: “There is lots of hope for the future. The young left-back Scott Barron came in and did very well.

“We have waited a year for him, with his succession of set-backs with injuries. You can see there is great promise there.

“Gavin Williams was outstanding, Darren Currie was quite brilliant, considering I was going to rest him, while Dean McDonald was terrific up front virtually on his own and he is more of a winger really.”

The Blues will step up their efforts to bring in a loan signing today, while Norwegian Vemund Brekke-Skard will start training with the senior squad and is now eligible to make his debut.

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