Royle rules out major changes

JOE Royle will not be wielding the axe as the Blues look to reclaim top spot at West Ham on Saturday - but he is still on the look-out for at least one more loan signing.

By Derek Davis

JOE Royle will not be wielding the axe as the Blues look to reclaim top spot at West Ham on Saturday - but he is still on the look-out for at least one more loan signing.

The Town boss was furious straight after losing at Stoke City on Tuesday, and laid into his players, but last night, even though he was still bitterly disappointed, he recognised how well that same XI had done previously to put Ipswich top of the Championship.

He said: “I'm still upset, and that was the second time we have lost 3-2 after being 2-1 up.


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“But, at the same time, we are not too far away. We are still the leading goal-scorers in the division so there is no need to panic.

“I'm still disappointed that we lost but not with the group of players, they had taken us to the top, but it was generally a bad night for certain individuals.

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“There is no need for wholesale changes and I won't be changing the side drastically”

Kevin Horlock will benefit from the rest while Fabian Wilnis will be covered in bruises today after the violent treatment meted out to him by Darel Russell, Clive Clarke and John Halls, in particular.

Royle has the option of bringing back Matt Richards at left-back and moving Wilnis across to right back in place of Drissa Diallo, who was largely at fault for Wayne Thomas' two goals.

Pablo Counago is pushing for a starting place, with Shefki Kuqi's form dipping slightly of late.

Royle is also monitoring the loan market, even though Charlton boss Alan Curbishley has said midfielder Graham Stuart will not be allowed out to Ipswich, or anyone else.

“We are vigilant to the possibility of bringing in a loan player but there is nothing imminent.”

Curbishley has also made it clear he has a big pot of cash to be spent in January, with Darren Bent still his target along with Southampton's James Beattie, and the duo would use up the £9m he has available.

Meanwhile, Royle has wished former Town striker Alun Armstrong well after he signed for Darlington.

He said: “I'm pleased for Alun. He should be playing somewhere, he is only 29 and probably has at least four good years left in him.”

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