Royle: We deserve to be top dogs

WHILE Dennis Wise and Ray Wilkins decided to give the customary post match conference a miss, Blues boss Joe Royle was naturally delighted to talk about being deserved Division One leaders.

WHILE Dennis Wise and Ray Wilkins decided to give the customary post match conference a miss, Blues boss Joe Royle was naturally delighted to talk about being deserved Division One leaders, writes Derek Davis.

Perhaps the Millwall duo thought the media boycott spread to former England players as well but both declined to offer their views on the Lions' first away defeat of the season.

Beaming Role was not as reticent and said: "I was delighted, we were the best team throughout.

"We had one scary moment when their lad hit a great volley and the keeper made a decent save. That apart, we handled what we had quite well.


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"They do defend well so you have to give them credit for that, the two centre-halves are resolute.

"Ray Wilkins was here to see us beat Wolves the other week so I knew they would be cooking up something to try and stop us playing."

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The win puts Town top of the table for the first time in five years and Royle has no doubt it is a justified position.

He said: "We deserve to be top. The table doesn't lie but whether we are still there after 46 games we will find out. It is early but we are happy to be here and we now have to translate the good home form to away at a tricky game with Stoke on Tuesday."

Instead of basking in the joy of being top Royle took a moment to remember the dark days of a year ago when it was reported they had got off to their worst start in 40 years, not that they were the worst team as Royle seems to think.

He said: "It is game that we could have lost last year, in fact we did.

It is a nice feeling because it was only 12 months ago that we were the worst team in the club's history."

The game seemed headed for a goal-less draw, which would have been Town's first in 30 games, the last one was also against Millwall last December.

But substitute Pablo Counago turned the game with an assist for in-form Darren Bent who in turn supplied the Spaniard for his first senior goal in nine months.

Royle said: "The big bonus was our little Spanish friend. It looks as if the season has started for him, let us hope so.

"He did great for both goals. He made one and scored one.

"I felt Shefki was doing fine for the team but I felt if we could get it to Pablo's feet he may cause the centre-halves problems, though we were not expecting an old-fashioned flick-on from him but it has probably won the game for us.

"Once the first goal went in it meant they had to open up and come at us a bit and I fancied us for a second."

Despite a sometimes fractious match neither team were shown a yellow card.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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