Royle prepared to axe misfiring strikers

MISFIRING Ipswich Town strikers face the axe as Blues boss Joe Royle's patience is wearing thin by the goal famine.Royle warned there will be changes if the three present incumbents Marcus Bent, Darren Bent and Pablo Counago, don't find their scoring boots soon, as Ipswich Town are already slipping behind the Division One leaders.

MISFIRING Ipswich Town strikers face the axe as Blues boss Joe Royle's patience is wearing thin by the goal famine, writes Derek Davis.

Royle warned there will be changes if the three present incumbents Marcus Bent, Darren Bent and Pablo Counago, don't find their scoring boots soon, as Ipswich Town are already slipping behind the Division One leaders.

Town drew a blank on Saturday as they lost 1-0 at Crewe, and although it is only the second league game of the season, Royle is concerned that they have not scored in open play.

A Tommy Miller penalty earned them a point at home to Reading last week but the Blues' profligate forwards have failed to take any of the dozens of chances which have fallen to them over the past two league encounters.

Failure to rectify matters in the next league match, at home to Coventry City on Saturday, could see a new-look strike force.

Royle warned: "I will look at things this weekend and if things don't improve in terms of us scoring then there will be changes. It could be a case of me going out and bringing new people in. I have got my eye on one or two possible loan signings."

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The emergence of Dean Bowditch, who scored the extra-time winner in the Carling Cup last Wednesday, is a bonus for Royle but he is reluctant to use him too much just at the moment

He said: "Dean is an exciting talent but it would not be right to start with him at the moment."

Royle is not prepared to wait too long for the goals to come.

He said: "It is only two games but we don't want to be dropping too far behind. We don't want the situation where we were last season of having to play catch-up.

"I'm not going to sit around hoping things will be all right. There is a problem and if it is not sorted quickly then we will move to rectify it by changing things."

Richard Naylor headed against the crossbar, while Tommy Miller and Pablo Counago had efforts cleared off the line as Ipswich dominated the second half and didn't deserve to lose.

A Kenny Lunt free kick separated the sides as Town failed to convert a stream of second-half opportunities.

Royle said: "Their keeper was man of the match and rightfully so, and how we have lost it I don't know.

"Whether it was good goalkeeping or bad finishing I don't know but we don't look like scoring goals at the moment and it is something we have to address.

"First half our forwards were poor ,they had one attempt on goal. Second half it was more like 10. I know which way we want to play, attractive attacking football but sometimes we need to be more effective.

"Pablo did better. Leaving him out jolted him a bit and we did better in the second half, but we still didn't put the ball in the net when we had good chances. "

Dean Ashton and Steve Jones troubled Town, particularly in the first half and Kelvin Davis made some super saves to keep Ipswich in the game. Royle added: "They may have had more attempts but we had the better chances throughout the game and our goalkeeper has not been too troubled.

"It was disappointing to lose and there is no way we deserved to lose but we can't keep saying 'we should have or we could have' – we have to address things.

"At times we were impressive in the second half and getting towards our best.

"It is a great free kick but you could not blame our keeper. He did what he did well, but it is at the other end where there is a bit of famine at the moment."

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