Royle sticks to winning formula

JOE Royle will stick with a winning team tonight as Town look to move back into an automatic top-two place.After dispatching play-off contenders Derby with an excellent second half showing, the Blues' boss is looking for a better start against Rotherham, who will be relegated if they lose.

By Derek Davis

JOE Royle will stick with a winning team tonight as Town look to move back into an automatic top-two place.

After dispatching play-off contenders Derby with an excellent second half showing, the Blues' boss is looking for a better start against Rotherham, who will be relegated if they lose.

Royle, though, is taking nothing for granted and has urged his side to come out all guns blazing at Portman Road.


You may also want to watch:


He said: “I don't expect this game to be as free-flowing as it was on Saturday.

“Derby came here to win rather than not to lose, although I expect Rotherham to be slightly more cautious.

Most Read

“They have not shipped an awful lot of goals. They are not a loose team and in Martin McIntosh and Chris Swailes they have a defensive pair which are good in this division.

“We know it won't be easy. Rotherham are not the walkover some people seem to think they are. We have had problems with Rotherham in the past so we will be wary of them.”

Town stumbled at Millmoor when they were chasing a play-off place almost two years ago but they have since won the last three encounters between the two teams.

The Merry Millers will be the miserable Millermen should they lose tonight, but Royle knows they will not go down without a fight.

He said: “Mathematically they need to win to stay up, although I'm sure realistically they will know it is going to be very hard to stay in this division.

“They have a manager who wants the job, you have players playing for contracts and on a professional level they will be playing for pride and will not want to be doubled by us.”

Ipswich have a habit of getting good results against good teams and then putting in a bad performance against a weaker side, something Royle is determined won't happen tonight.

He said: “We need to start with the right attitude and go out and get off brightly. We need to get on top of them early and make sure we don't give them a head start.

“If we do that they will be camped out on the edge of their box and I wouldn't blame them.”

Victory for Town tonight would put them second if Wigan fail to beat Sunderland at the JJB, but the Blues' contingent won't be worrying about that result until around 9.45pm.

Royle said: “It will be the first thing I ask after the game but we won't be getting told during the match.

“It won't matter what the others do if we don't come up with the goods.”

With Rotherham likely to deploy a 4-4-2 system, Town are expected to stay as they were on Saturday, although could switch to using wing-backs if Rotherham become cautious and play with just one up front and pack the midfield.

Meanwhile, Royle has confirmed his interest in signing Darren Ambrose back from Newcastle.

A number of reports have recently linked Ambrose with a return to Portman Road, with Newcastle looking for a fee of around £1m.

Injury prevented Ambrose going out on loan recently with Ipswich, Derby and Wolves among the clubs keen to take him.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter