Sam not the only Parkin

BLUES striker Sam was not the only Parkin that Joe Royle was interested in signing this season.While Sam Parkin has been pencilled in for a return from a broken ankle in a reserves match against West Ham at Needham Market tonight, Jon Parkin arrives at Portman Road tomorrow with Hull City.

BLUES striker Sam was not the only Parkin that Joe Royle was interested in signing this season.

While Sam Parkin has been pencilled in for a return from a broken ankle in a reserves match against West Ham at Needham Market tonight, Jon Parkin arrives at Portman Road tomorrow with Hull City.

Jon Parkin caught the eye with 36 goals in 78 matches for Macclesfield, before being snapped up by Peter Taylor for around £150,000 in the January transfer window.

The 24-year-old was an instant hit with four goals in six matches but has not found the net in five games since and Royle revealed he was a striker the Blues were very aware of while at Moss Rose.


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Royle said: “Parkin has gone in there at Hull and done very well. He has had a great start. He is someone we knew about but we also knew there was money involved.”

Parkin's goals have helped pull the Tigers away from trouble and 1-0 wins over Plymouth and Crewe in their last two games have left manager Taylor saying one more win - which would take them to 47 points - will be enough to ensure survival.

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But Royle has no such doubts that City will be a Championship side again next season.

He said: “Peter is being ultra cautious as I think they are safe.

“I'm sure they will come here and go for the win. The very nature of them means they are a very honest, hard-working side so no doubt it will be a tough game.”

After failing to sign Georges Santos on loan from QPR, the Tigers have swooped to sign Angolan international defender Luis Marques, who played a part in the Blues' pre season match against Rangers.

Marques joined Hull on loan from Leeds United and goes straight into the squad to face Town tomorrow.

Town lost 2-0 at the KC Stadium at the end of December but then went on an unbeaten nine-game sequence in the league and have lost just twice since then.

Royle agrees the loss at Hull was a pivotal moment, even though it was also Nicky Forster's last game as a knee injury forced him off after 27 minutes.

He said: “I saw in that game, and the Palace game just previously, that we weren't far away.

“We played very well there but we lost Fossie early on and just didn't threaten their goal.

“Our actual football and organisation was smashing and we steadily improved from there.

“Our current form is good. We drew with Palace, who then beat Leeds. We drew with Leeds and Sheffield United in games we could have won, so our form-line stands up.

“We have suffered with losing front players and with keeping 11 players on the pitch, although I can't believe we have had six red cards this season.”

Although Town are eight points from sixth-placed Preston, Royle still refuses to give up hope that Town can make the play-off places.

He said: “I have not given up on the season. If we can win the next three games who knows where we will be and we can have a look at it then.”

Forster has recovered well and could be in the reserves to play West Ham tonight, along with Sam Parkin, although won't be ready to play tomorrow.

Ian Westlake is fit after recovering from a dead leg but Jimmy Juan is a big doubt and Scott Barron is struggling with a hamstring problem.

Scar tissue from a previous hamstring tear could be at the root of Barron's problem, as a fresh scan has revealed no new tear.

Danny Haynes missed training yesterday after phoning in with flu and also has an ankle injury to contend with.

Meanwhile the future of three of Town's loanees, Kevin Horlock, Dean Bowditch and Aidan Collins, will not be decided until their spells at Wycombe, Doncaster and Stockport have finished.

“Kevin will complete the month at Doncaster and I know Dave Penney is absolutely delighted with him.

“After that Kevin will come back here or way down south to New Zealand,” said Royle.

Former Town favourite Alan Mahon has moved from Wigan to Burnley on loan.

That deal lasts until the end of the season, but Mahon is then likely to be offered a three-year deal with the Clarets.

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