Royle's backing for Reuser

MARTIJN Reuser looks to have done enough to convince Blues boss Joe Royle not to shove him out of the door after all, writes Derek Davis.The dashing Dutchman was put on the free transfer list last season, and remains on it due to the provisions of the CVA, but Royle last night admitted he would like to keep the former Ajax winger.

MARTIJN Reuser looks to have done enough to convince Blues boss Joe Royle not to shove him out of the door after all, writes Derek Davis.

The dashing Dutchman was put on the free transfer list last season, and remains on it due to the provisions of the CVA, but Royle last night admitted he would like to keep the former Ajax winger.

Reuser showed a strong desire during Town Reserves' 3-0 win at AFC Sudbury on Tuesday and weighed in with two goals. He also shone on tour in Sweden and has every chance of starting against Reading tomorrow, depending on what formation Royle chooses.

The Town boss admitted: "We still have certain agreements made under the CVA that we have to fulfil. But if someone did ask about Martijn now, I would say to him that you can speak to them if you want, but that I don't want him to go.


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"Martijn's done very well pre-season, the staff tell me he's as fit as he's been since he moved here. He looks lean and ready and he's very much in my thoughts.

"Six months ago I would have had to say goodbye. The £500,000 from Thomas Gaardsoe means that if a wild bid did come in for someone we're that much stronger to resist it now."

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Royle is hoping the anger among Town supporters over the Gaardsoe move to West Bromwich Albion will dissipate somewhat once they have seen the new defensive look in action.

He said: "The Thomas thing has got a little bit out of proportion. Thomas is a good lad and he played most of the games last year, but we've changed the system and all I said to Thomas when he asked was that I couldn't guarantee him a first team place, so it was a football decision.

"Ideally, in a better financial situation we could hang on to players more readily but if you get £500,000 for a player who isn't going to start in your side, it's a good deal.

"We wish him all the best, he's left a lovely note in there for all the staff about leaving as he was very happy here, but it was a football decision and that happens."

The Blues now look to the future, starting with Reading who have strengthened their squad by buying Scott Murray from Bristol City for £650,000 and paid Manchester City £500,000 for Shaun Goater.

Royle said: "They've bought well, they've got Scott Murray in who's pacy and the Goat, bless him, who doesn't know how not to score goals.

"I think they'll be up there, I saw them at Bournemouth last week and they're still tidy and it'll be a hard game for us. They were the surprise package last year, and it was no fluke so I expect them to be up there again.

"Alan Pardew has done very well. He seems to be a name on people's lips. This is a hard season for him. He's got to follow up on last year's success.

"He's identified what he thought was a weakness with them last year - that they didn't score enough goals - and bringing the Goat in will help him there. It is a big season for him but I'm sure he will be up for it."

After all the upheaval over the past six months, Royle is relishing the new season and will be delighted to prove certain critics wrong.

He said: "People might think that we haven't got much of a chance but I personally do. I think the three new signings have improved us. We needed to improve our defensive record last year, which was poor, and I think the new three will do that.

"I look at the side we'll be putting out and there won't be too many as strong as us. I think we've got a good chance. If our strikers score at the rate they did last year we'll have a great chance. It's the other end which will decide our fate which is why we made the changes."

Young defender Erdum Artun, who was handed a free transfer last season, has joined Third Division Darlington.

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