Royle praise for U's

BLUES boss Joe Royle has tipped Phil Parkinson's Colchester United to do well in Division Two this season.Royle was staggered at how fired up their Essex neighbours were but praised their football and believes the U's are in for a good season.

BLUES boss Joe Royle has tipped Phil Parkinson's Colchester United to do well in Division Two this season.

Royle was staggered at how fired up their Essex neighbours were but praised their football and believes the U's are in for a good season.

He said: "Parky has got them going. I knew they would be fired up as it is a local derby but they were even more fired up than I expected.

"They have got players here who will cause problems in the division. Wayne Andrews is a handful and Joe Keith played very well at times. Their centre halves also did well until we started giving our front players better service in the second half.


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"I'm sure Colchester will do well, and I hope they do. There should be a good relationship between the clubs and I'm sure there can be.

"It was a smashing day. There was a lovely feel about, the crowds had their chants but it was not particularly foul-mouthed or vitriolic which was nice and this should be a regular fixture."

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Relations between the clubs soured when George Burley left the U's to manage Ipswich and there was a squabble over compensation. The Essex club got what they wanted after a while and that is now all water under the bridge.

Although there were large sections of supporters grouped together, there was no segregation as such with U's and Blues fans sitting together in the main stand. Apart from some lively banter between the Barside and a group of Town fans in the Layer Road section there was not a hint of bother in the ground.

There were a smattering of simpletons who seemed determined to spoil the day outside but the vast majority of the 3,746 crowd enjoyed an entertaining exhibition and it is good for both clubs that relationships have improved.

Royle admitted the U's might have considered the scoreline harsh but he didn't believe it flattered Town.

He said: "This was the hardest game we have had and they will feel aggrieved with the scoreline and it might have been hard on them but I don't care. There were plenty of games last season when we didn't deserve just to get a draw or to lose, so I hope this becomes a habit and we defend properly and we score goals.

"Our keeper has had one save to make, we have defended magnificently and although it was the worst we played in terms of fluency, it is the most delighted I am with all the pre-season games because it was a clean sheet and we defended properly

"Credit to Colchester they were up for it. They were better than us for long spells but they didn't threaten the goal too often and I know at our best we can keep the ball and pass the ball better than anyone in Division One.

"What I now know is that we can defend properly and the two new boys have given us so much more presence in the air and I'm smiling all over now because we have not played great but have won 3-0.

"We will always make opportunities with these players and now we can defend properly."

Skipper Jim Magilton and Martijn Reuser were influential second half substitutes, giving the three front men a bit more to work with.

Royle added: "Jim and Martijn both did fine and gave us quality ball which perhaps we didn't have earlier.

Marcus Bent and Darren Bent added to their impressive tally with 12 goals between them in five games with baby Bent bagging another brace.

Royle said: "Darren is dangerous. If we give him the right service then he is jet-heeled, he loves scoring goals and plays with a smile, I just hope he doesn't use them all up before the season starts."

Town travel to Boston United for the last away match of the pre-season before entertaining Levski Sofia on Friday night.

A strong reserve side is expected at Bury Town on Saturday.

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