Royle plays waiting game

BLUES boss Joe Royle last night admitted his hands were tied in his efforts to reinforce his thin squad.Despite signing strikers Sam Parkin and Nicky Forster, Royle is keen to bring in a couple of experienced players before the Championship season starts on August 6.

By Derek Davis

BLUES boss Joe Royle last night admitted his hands were tied in his efforts to reinforce his thin squad.

Despite signing strikers Sam Parkin and Nicky Forster, Royle is keen to bring in a couple of experienced players before the Championship season starts on August 6.

With eight senior players leaving at the end of last season but no money left to buy new players, Royle is looking towards securing some loan deals over the next six weeks of the transfer window, which comes in to effect for the first time this season for Football league clubs.


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A defender tops his list and he has not given up hope of getting one of those eight players back, with David Unsworth still a target.

Royle missed the 3-0 pre-season win at Cambridge United as he recovers from a knee-rebuilding operation but has seen the video.

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He said: “It was mission accomplished as far as getting fitness under the belt and winning. It also confirmed what we thought, in that we have a strong first 13 players but we desperately need back-up.

“We don't have the money to buy players so we can't go out and make things happen. We are waiting for other clubs to make their minds up about players and, for the most part, that means loan deals, or in Unsworth's case, taking over part of his contract.

“We have four strong targets and I expect us to bring in at least one before the season starts.”

Until then a number of the younger players have an opportunity to press a claim and Dean Bowditch's two goals at Cambridge should ensure he gets a start at Boston United today.

Dean McDonald may also play a more prominent role, although Parkin and Forster will also figure highly.

Royle was impressed with the performances of the youngsters in midweek and FA Youth Cup winners Sammy Moore, Aiden Collins and Owen Garvan keep their places in a trimmed-down squad which travelled to Lincolnshire last night.

Royle said: “We have seen an improvement in Owen and Sammy, while it was good to see Aiden's fitness. Sammy has come on well and taken his chance. He may not be quite ready for the first team but he certainly would not let us down if called upon. He is a terrific lad and there's not a more genuine player around.”

Although Royle is well ahead of schedule in his recovery from surgery, it is likely he will not be at York Road today but is keen to be on the touchline for Glasgow Rangers' visit to Portman Road on Tuesday.

Steve Evans' Pilgrims drew 0-0 at Ryman League side Braintree Town during the week and their supporters are likely to get their first look at new signings Julian Joachim and Noel Whelan this afternoon.

Joachim returns to his home-town club after signing on a free transfer from Leeds United following a career which has also taken the 30-year-old to Leicester City, Aston Villa, Coventry City and, most recently, a loan spell at Walsall.

The League Two outfit have also secured former Colchester United duo Gavin Johnson and Alan White, along with Brentford skipper Stewart Talbot, and are taking a close look at Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury keeper Scott Howie, who will challenge Nathan Abbey for the No. 1 spot.

Town squad: Price, Supple, Richards, Wilnis, Moore, De Vos, Naylor, Collins, Horlock, Garvan, Magilton, Currie, Juan, Westlake, Forster, Parkin, Bowditch and McDonald.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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