Royle's reassurance

JOE Royle has reassured Ipswich Town fans that he will be at the helm to guide Ipswich throughout the forthcoming Championship season, smashing the 1,000 game mark in the process, writes Derek Davis.

JOE Royle has reassured Ipswich Town fans that he will be at the helm to guide Ipswich throughout the forthcoming Championship season, smashing the 1,000 game mark in the process, writes Derek Davis.

Royle has a year left on his contract and expects that his future will be decided before the end of the season.

"I have said before that the day I pack it in will be the day I get out of bed and don't want to do the job any more. That has not happened yet and I can't see it happening," he said. "I enjoy it here, I really do. It is a fantastic club and while the job is not quite what I expected it to be when I first got here it is a good job."

The former Oldham, Manchester City and Everton boss is 13 games shy of reaching the incredible milestone of being in charge of 1,000 matches in his managerial career.


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If Ipswich can beat Brentford without needing a replay in the Carling Cup, Royle should clock up the 1,000 at home to Reading on Tuesday, September 28.

Royle is hoping to add to his squad before the season kicks off against Gillingham on Saturday, August 7 but still feels he is moulding together a good team. Considering Royle has not spent a penny on players and yet has lost the likes of Matt Holland, Hermann Hriedarsson, Jamie Clapham, Darren Ambrose and Marcus Bent, Town have done well to stay in the play-off hunt.

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He said: "We have brought in Kevin Horlock to replace Jermaine Wright and Jason De Vos in place of John McGreal. In an ideal world we would like to have kept Jamma and Johnny Mac but it was not to be.

"While we may have lost a lot of good players over the years the team has evolved. We still have a couple left from the team that won promotion, Richard Naylor, Jim Magilton and Fabian Wilnis but we have added players. Jason and Kevin have fitted in very well and we have the youngsters who have already done well and now more coming through very strongly.

"We still have a bit in the budget to manoeuvre a little and ideally I would like a new player in each department, defence, midfield and attack, although that is unlikely. The priority remains a forward but whatever, I still feel this team is good enough to mount a challenge."

Royle first revealed in the EADT that he expected Ipswich Town to be his last club but that did not mean he is looking to retire, and he has not ruled out extending his contract beyond the summer of 2005.

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