Royle warns: Don't switch off

Cardiff City 0 Ipswich Town 1BLUES boss Joe Royle has warned his players that they cannot afford to switch off as the promotion race heats up, with just eight games of the Championship left.

By Derek Davis

Cardiff City 0 Ipswich Town 1

BLUES boss Joe Royle has warned his players that they cannot afford to switch off as the promotion race heats up, with just eight games of the Championship left.

The Blues remain three points behind Wigan and Sunderland, with an inferior goal-difference, and Royle will insist his players do not lose focus, as they did towards the end of the win at Ninian Park last night.

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Royle said: “It is all about getting three points game-to-game and not be worried about whatever is going on elsewhere.”

Town were made to work for the victory and were hanging on somewhat towards the end, which left Royle concerned.

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He said: “For the last 20 minutes or so one or two player switched off and that invited Cardiff on.

“Give credit to them, they had a seven-man attack towards the end and were going for it.”

Up until that point, Royle believes Town were in control and once the goal went in they should have been home and hosed.

He said: “We were a bit slow out of the traps but I felt we were comfortable throughout. Our goal seemed to galvanise them but, once a penalty was given, I had no doubt about the outcome.”

Tommy Miller's 12th goal of the season, with five coming in his past seven games, was eventually enough to separate the sides, after the midfielder had been fouled by Danny Gabbidon.

Royle was delighted with the way Miller has stepped up his form of late and he played yet another prominent role in last night's victory.

He said: “Tommy has been excellent for us and there is probably not a better penalty-taker around.”

With Wigan and Sunderland both winning handsomely, there was no room for error by Town and Royle was delighted with some aspects of the win.

He said: “We have kept another clean sheet and we don't often do two on a bounce, so that's pleasing.

“The captain, Jason De Vos, was outstanding at the back and led the team well.

“I also thought Darren Currie was outstanding and, for me, possibly shaded it as man of the match. He ran the game from midfield.

“We were outstanding on Saturday and we needed a repeat of that performance. Our front two had an off- night and the ball was coming back too easily”

Cardiff chairman Sam Hamman was forced to retreat back into Ninian Park after a disgruntled mob of City fans surrounded his car as he tried to leave following the defeat.

Manager Lennie Lawrence said: “The overriding emotion for me was disappointment. We had a spell in the second half when we defended resolutely but kept giving the ball away. If we carried on with that we would have been torn apart.

“We changed it a bit, and pushed them back, and it was extremely disappointing that we didn't conjure something up.

“I acknowledge Ipswich's quality and they were the better team but we had enough to get the draw at least.”

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