Royle slams blood rule after equaliser

JOE Royle used his 1,000th game as a manager to launch a scathing attack on petty officials who have insisted players are not allowed to play with any blood showing, writes Derek Davis.

JOE Royle used his 1,000th game as a manager to launch a scathing attack on petty officials who have insisted players are not allowed to play with any blood showing, writes Derek Davis.

Ipswich maintained their unbeaten home record with a 1-1 draw against leaders Reading last night to stay in third place.

The Royals levelled out Shefki Kuqi's 10th-minute opener while central defender Jason De Vos was off the pitch getting a single stitch in a nick over his left eye.

Royle said: “It was not that bad, we have all played on with far worse. He has needed one stitch but it is has kept some gnome in Zurich, some old fart, in a job for another year.


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“We lost at Stoke in the last minute because De Vos was off the pitch having treatment for a blow to a head, then the ball goes right to where he would have been.

“The whole blood thing is ridiculous. Jason could have been strapped up and got on with the game. If it had always been like this Terry Butcher would never have finished a game.

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“This has cost us, even though the lad was blatantly offside, Jason being off the pitch has cost us.”

Kuqi's goal was his third in two games.

“Big Shefki has done his usual and taken the hardest chance he had yet could have had two match balls. That is what you get with Shefki,” Royle added.

The goal came from a 50-yard pass from Kevin Horlock, but Royle was quick to remind people the Blues are not a long-ball side.

He added: “We don't mind mixing it. You have to play over them to get them to face their own goal and the best teams in the country do that.

“There is nothing wrong with a long accurate pass, but it is certainly not long-ball football.”

After winning and not playing well against Plymouth on Saturday, Royle felt this was a much better display as Town stay unbeaten at home this season.

He said: “I felt we deserved to win the game. Their equaliser was blatantly offside, at least three or four yards offside. The official on that side missed a few offsides and I felt we were poorly served by the officials.

“We should have had a penalty when Shefki was taken out. But we also missed chances and our performance was terrific.

“I was worried about them catching us on the break but it didn't materialise.

“It is a lot better team now. We could have won this and I feel we should have done.”

Kelvin Davis was unable to continue with a back problem which had been niggling him before the match and Lewis Price did well on his home league debut.

Davis is expected to be fit for the trip to Coventry City on Sunday, although Fabian Wilnis will still be suspended.

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