Royle: Time for a change
JOE Royle has vowed to make at least one change for Saturday's visit of Sheffield United.The Blues boss was angry at the way they capitulated at Bradford after Hermann Hreidarsson was sent off.
JOE Royle has vowed to make at least one change for Saturday's visit of Sheffield United, writes Derek Davis.
The Blues boss was angry at the way they capitulated at Bradford after Hermann Hreidarsson was sent off.
And Crystal Palace's shock FA Cup win at Liverpool on Wednesday has caused their home game with Ipswich to be postponed, which means Hreidarsson will now be banned for the trip to Norwich as well as Wolves and Grimsby at home.
The Icelander will look to go out with a good game against the Blades and some carefully chosen words by Royle will have left the side in no doubt about what is expected of them tomorrow.
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A change in personnel is guaranteed as Town look to get back to winning ways.
Royle said: “There will be one change for sure. We have lost two games in Yorkshire that we should not have lost and after last week's performance at Bradford we need to freshen things up a bit.
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“I'm not saying where the change or changes will be but suffice to say we have conceded six goals in two games and we have made enough chances to win a month of games without taking them.”
Those games have gone now but Royle will be looking for a show of spirited character in response.
He added: “It is how they react to those defeats which counts. They have done fantastic to go nine games unbeaten but we need a bit more commitment and aggression in the right departments.”
With more than a third of the season still to go, nothing will be close to being settled for some time yet with at least 15 teams still in with a chance of a play-off place.
The Blades have shown what a good run can do by moving to within touching distance of the automatic places, while Norwich have slipped out of the top six.
Royle is determined to relaunch Town's challenge and even though they are six places off the top six, only four points separates them.
Royle said: “Having been two points from the play-offs we now find ourselves four points away and we can't allow that to drift. We need to put together another run to get back up there as soon as possible.”
The Blades' run of ten league games without defeat ended at Millwall last week and they have been in La Manga for three days to relax.
Neil Warnock won manager-of-the-month for January and has strengthened his squad by adding Dutch winger Marcel Cas, and is hoping to take Manchester City defender Paul Ritchie on loan.
Warnock said: “We have to go into the Ipswich game in the right frame of mind and I think this could be the ideal preparation. We were a bit flat at Millwall and have had some tough games recently - the La Manga exercise could be the lift we need.”
Royle said: “We both had a setback last week. No doubt they would have liked to have gone on their break with three points behind them and not a defeat, so they will be looking for a response.
“They are the team of the division at the moment but we will take great encouragement from our revival there, especially the amount of chances we created.”
Martijn Reuser was the only senior player not to train yesterday as he recovers from a slight groin strain. John McGreal and Finidi George joined in after their differing injury woes and are hoping to play in Town's reserve game with Arsenal on Monday, along with Richard Naylor. Alun Armstrong was replaced at half-time of the reserves' defeat on Wednesday after complaining of tiredness following some sleepless nights since his wife Helen gave birth recently.