Royle urges Bent - be more like Henry

DARREN Bent has been urged to copy what hero Thierry Henry does and to show the sort of pace and confidence he did in Ipswich Town's 5-1 win at Oxford United last night, writes Derek Davis.

DARREN Bent has been urged to copy what hero Thierry Henry does and to show the sort of pace and confidence he did in Ipswich Town's 5-1 win at Oxford United last night, writes Derek Davis.

Blues boss Joe Royle believes England Under-21 international Bent has the capability to do a lot better than he has already achieved, especially if he plays the way he did at United's Kassam Stadium last night, topping his performance with a well-taken goal.

Royle said: "We have all been urging Darren to take players on and use his pace and against Oxford he did it.

"He is a big fan of Thierry Henry and I have said to him 'why not do what he does and use your pace instead of coming back?' and he did it.


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"The big test will be against quicker players and he still needs to do the right things.

"Darren has vast potential and there is still a lot to come from him.

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"If Darren plays like that every week and with that attitude he will be very difficult to stop."

An injury to Kevin Horlock forced Town to play a 4-3-3 system but it worked and Royle was delighted with his strikers.

He added: "We had goals and we had movement from our strikers. All three front runners were terrific and it worked for us."

Defensively Royle was less happy, especially with the first goal.

Fabian Wilnis pulled out with a sore back leaving centre-half Drissa Diallo to fill in at right-back, but it was a ball between Jason De Vos and Richard Naylor that cost an early goal.

Royle said: "It was a poor goal to concede and the two central defenders were a bit sleepy and got caught out on it, but they know that. Perhaps if Kevin Horlock had been playing in front of them it would not have happened."

Jim Magilton put the finishing touch to a free-scoring night and got the loudest cheer of the night from the Oxford supporters who used to chant his name.

The Town skipper said: "It is not often you score in the last minute at an away ground and get such a cheer. It was a lovely gesture, and one I will remember for some time.

"Oxford played well and deserved their goal, although getting caught early and coming back is a disease we have developed over the past couple of years and we need to stamp it out."

Tommy Miller hit two goals as he steps up his fitness, while Pablo Counago and Bent each scored.

Royle said: "I'm pleased with the way the games have been going and the fitness is good.

"No disrespect to Oxford, but Crystal Palace are a much fitter side and will be a tougher test on Saturday."

Georges Santos was on the bench last night and, with no further news from QPR or his agent regarding his possible transfer last night, the Frenchman is in the reserves squad to play Barnet tonight.

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