Royle's Blues face Burley
THE team that Joe Royle built is out for revenge over George Burley's recently-constructed Derby County. The current Blues boss is well aware that Burley will be keen to record his first win at Portman Road since being sacked in September 2002.
THE team that Joe Royle built is out for revenge over George Burley's recently-constructed Derby County.
The current Blues boss is well aware that Burley will be keen to record his first win at Portman Road since being sacked in September 2002.
Royle is determined to extend Town's unbeaten run to four matches with a side he points out is vastly different to the one Burley left near the bottom of Division One.
The Rams have won four and drawn one of their past five games and only Wigan have picked up more points on the road, with County winning 10 and drawing three of 18.
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Royle said: “Derby have been in a rich vein of form recently, especially away from home and George will be coming back here to win.
“George knows his stuff, he got Ipswich up to fifth in the Premiership and into Europe. You have to know what you are doing to achieve that so I'm not surprised he has done what he has at Derby.
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“He has built a good side there but he comes up against a very different Ipswich side to the one he left.
“Only Jim Magilton, Richard Naylor and Fabian Wilnis are the senior players still here and they were on the way out under him anyway. So it is two entirely new teams coming up against each other.”
Royle doesn't believe Derby can threaten the automatic places but knows the Rams will be looking to consolidate their play-off place.
Town though are still very much in the hunt for a top-two finish and Royle is still miffed at the dropped points at Pride Park earlier in the season.
The Blues were ahead on that day in August through goals by Tommy Miller and Dean Bowditch but contrived to lose 3-2.
Royle said: “It is our turn for revenge. It is a big game but then we have been told since before Christmas that this period or that is a vital spell.
“It is no different now, we have seven games to go and all of them are important.”
Royle has pinpointed Spanish set-piece specialist Inigo Idiakez as the Derby danger man ahead of tomorrow's tussle at Portman Road.
Town have proved vulnerable at set plays in the past and Royle has warned his players not to concede needless free-kicks.
Of the eight goals that the 31-year-old has scored this season, only one has come from open play.
Indiakez has converted two penalties and knocked in five free-kicks, including one in the 3-2 win over Town earlier in the season.
Royle said: “I saw Idiakez play against QPR and he hit the bar in that game and forced the keeper to make plenty of saves so we know he is a dangerous player. I have told our players not to give away any silly free-kicks around our area because he is outstanding from those positions, it is like a free shot on goal for him.”
With no fresh injuries Royle has announced the same 16-man squad that drew at Gillingham last month.
Ipswich Town squad: Davis, Price, Wilnis, Richards, Unsworth, De Vos, Naylor, Horlock, Magilton, Currie, Westlake, Miller, Scowcroft, Kuqi, Bent and Counago.