Royle wants more goals

IPSWICH Town manager Joe Royle has no intention of shutting up shop and trying to scramble 1-0 wins for the remainder of the season, writes Carl Marston.

IPSWICH Town manager Joe Royle has no intention of shutting up shop and trying to scramble 1-0 wins for the remainder of the season, writes Carl Marston.

Town have hosted a remarkable 112 goals in their 32 league fixtures, scoring 60 and conceding 52.

It's been rich entertainment, mixed with a little anguish for Town fans, and there won't be any let-up as Royle's men bid to secure promotion to the Premiership.

"I'm not just going to try and settle for boring 1-0 scorelines," insisted manager Royle, speaking from his holiday base in Tenerife last night.

"I want us to win matches, but win in style. I'd rather secure 4-3 wins. It's good entertainment and it's great value for the fans.

"We know that we have to improve defensively, but the main priority is to keep outscoring the opposition," added Royle.

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Ipswich are the top scorers in Division One, having netted seven more than the next-best, Cardiff City (53 goals).

On the negative side, even though Town are pushing for promotion, they are also lumbered with the second worst defensive record in the division.

Only basement dwellers Wimbledon have conceded more goals, with 61 as opposed to Town's 52. Derby County have also let in 52 goals.

The first-team squad have enjoyed a short break in Tenerife during the first half of this week, but they were due to return to Suffolk today.

Royle continued: "Training has gone well, and hopefully the change in scenery will have done the players some good.

"It's been pleasant, although we've had some rain."

Meanwhile, Arsenal are reportedly angry after 17-year-old academy star Ryan Smith was injured in a reserve game against Ipswich.

Smith was tackled by 17-year-old trialist Jerome Sobers early in Town's 2-0 win at Barnet earlier this month. Sobers collected a yellow card.

Sobers and Ryman League Ford United team-mate Ben Patten have since been signed on by Ipswich Town.

It has since become clear that Smith damaged cruciate ligaments and may face nine months out of action.

Ipswich reserve coach Steve McCall said: "We are very upset for the lad – I didn't realise it was that serious – but it was an honest tackle by Jerome.

"It was early in the game and he was caught out by the lad's pace. Obviously Arsenal were not happy with the challenge and Ian Smith tried to speak to Eddie Niedzwiecki afterwards."

Ipswich Academy director Bryan Klug said: "It is always sad and tough for a young player when they get injured. But it happens at every club and we have to get on with it.

"Our own Gerard Nash has had to have two cruciate operations.

"He is back to light training and driving us mad, he wants to run before he can walk."

Nash, an Irish Under-17 international, will miss the rest of the season and hopes to return for pre-season training.

n Ipswich Town have now sold the remaining tickets for the East Anglian derby at Carrow Road on Sunday, March 7.

The tickets for the clash with league leaders Norwich sold out inside an hour on Monday morning.

Town will have just over 1,900 fans in the New Stand at Carrow Road.

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