Royle hails Town's spirit

BLUES boss Joe Royle last night hailed his players' amazing team spirit as they once again came from a goal behind to win.Richard Naylor's equaliser follwed by a Darren Bent winner shot Town to the top of the Championship last night ahead of Wigan.

By Derek Davis

BLUES boss Joe Royle last night hailed his players' amazing team spirit as they once again came from a goal behind to win.

Richard Naylor's equaliser follwed by a Darren Bent winner shot Town to the top of the Championship last night ahead of Wigan.

Leighton Baines gave the Latics the lead but the indominatable Town spirit shone through for the third game in a row after winning at QPR and snatching a draw at Crewe after being behind.


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Royle said: “We do things the hard way but their goal was unstoppable - if it wasn't for the net it would still be travelling.

“It is not the first, or even second or third, time we have been behind and have come back. It showed in the 90th minute when their keeper has had to make a good save while most teams at 2-1 up would be keeping the ball in the corner.

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“But we deserved to win and it was a terrific result for us.”

Royle believes the unity and character of the players he has at Portman Road surpasses the teams he has managed before.

“The team spirit here is right up there. The Oldham boys were outstanding but this lot think the world of each other. The celebrations you see are not false, they are genuinely pleased for each other.”

The Town manager was delighted with the way his team handled an excellent Wigan side and said: “Considering the opposition that was probably our best 90 minutes overall.”

Royle was delighted with new signing Darren Currie, who was making his home debut.

He said: “I did say when we signed Darren he would give us the edge in tight games and it was a terrific delivery for the equaliser. I'm not sure Bam Bam would have scored it if he was still a striker, he is certainly a better finisher now he is a defender.”

Town go into Christmas top of the league and one point ahead of the target Royle has set his side of an average of two points a game.

But he warned: “We are top at Christmas, which is fantastic. We would have settled for that when we set off but I'm not getting carried away. There are a lot of minefields ahead of us.”

Royle admitted he was close to substituting goal hero Darren Bent but then remembered he is the top scorer for a reason.

Bent was delighted to be able to find the finish. He said: “We just kept going and I knew more chances would come. All I hoped was that one would come my way and I would be able to take it, which I did.

“We are top of the league and that is fantastic but we know there is still a long way to go yet.”

NEW loan signing Daniel Karbassiyoon had to settle for a place on the bench last night after joining the Blues for a month from Arsenal earlier in the day.

The 20-year-old American, who joined the Gunners as a striker, has since played in a number of positions for the reserves.

Karbassiyoon, who has represented the United States at Under-17 and Under-19 level, has made steady progress since being converted to a left back.

He has played three times in the first team for Arsenal this season - all in the Carling Cup. He featured in the 2-1 win at Manchester City and the 3-1 win against Everton and his most recent first-team outing was as an 81st-minute substitute for Gael Clichy in the 1-0 defeat at Manchester United.

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