Royle keeps the faith

BLUES boss Joe Royle is determined to keep faith with playing the game the right way even if it is sometimes frustrating and doesn't always produce results.

BLUES boss Joe Royle is determined to keep faith with playing the game the right way even if it is sometimes frustrating and doesn't always

produce results.

After being wrongly accused of playing the long ball game, Royle refuses to consider anything other than sticking with playing the ball through a midfield packed with


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He said: “We have footballers here. We have technical midfielders here. We keep the ball, we pass the ball and it is working for us.

“It is just on a day like this when we are impotent you wonder. But we won't change - we will keep passing the ball.”

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Royle was pleased with the contribution substitutes Martijn Reuser and Dean Bowditch made when they went on with 25 minutes to play.

He said: “Martijn's productive by putting in shots or crosses and it helps. He gave us more punch without looking potent, although we nearly won the game with a corner that sailed right through.”

But he still feels Bowditch has some way to go before he can command a more prominent role. He said: “He came on and showed flashes of what he can do but he is not ready to start just yet.”

Royle accepted his side had not performed as they could against a Reading side who have been struggling of late, conceding three goals in three of their past four matches.

Royle said: “If we were firing on all cylinders up front we would have won this game. We dominated in the first half yet didn't have a shot. You don't get goals for possession.

“We are shot-shy at the moment - which is strange for a side who are leading scorers in this league. In the end we would take a point after going a goal behind in a game we dominated for the most part.

“Credit to Reading, they have had a couple of hidings here of late and were determined not to have another. They put 10 men behind the ball and tried to break on us.”

Although the crowd could not get excited by the first hour, Royle was pleased with the way his side had controlled the game. He said: “Technically we played well in the first half, it was a good passing half but it didn't look as if we had a goal in us.”

The equaliser came through John McGreal, who needed an epidural to eventually get him playing again after almost a year out with injuries.

Royle was delighted for the veteran defender. He said: “John has been a bonus. Two months ago his career was in the balance after a string of injuries. He has had two serious knee injures and a couple of operations so to come back as he has is excellent.”

Royle will be forced to make changes next week when Fabian Wilnis misses the game against Crewe through suspension. Wilnis finished the game with a slight groin strain but should be fit in time for the home cup- tie against Sunderland. Jermaine Wright has played right back before this season, which would allow Tommy Miller to go on the right side of midfield.

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