Three injury worries for Royle

Ipswich Town boss Joe Royle is facing a number of injury worries ahead of Saturday's First Division visit to Coventry City at Highfield Road, writes David Vincent.

Ipswich Town boss Joe Royle is facing a number of injury worries ahead of Saturday's First Division visit to Coventry City at Highfield Road, writes David Vincent.

There are doubts over three first-teamers – John McGreal, Tommy Miller and Chris Bart-Williams.

Miller and McGreal dropped out of training yesterday.

Meanwhile Bart-Williams, who wasn't fit to play in Saturday's FA Cup defeat against Sunderland at Portman Road, is still not ready to return to training after a back injury.


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With those doubts it makes Royle's bid to bring in another loanee for Saturday more urgent.

Royle said: "Tommy Miller had a thigh strain and John McGreal a calf strain so they are doubts for the weekend.

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"Chris Bart-Williams still hasn't trained but we hope he will be able to on Thursday.

"I am still speaking to people about loan signings and there is time because we can register until Saturday lunchtime these days. It is about finding the right people in the positions we want.

"I can't make any promises but there is a short-list of three or four people who I feel would improve us at the moment. I am prepared to wait if it means getting one of those. We are not in a panic situation.

"There were a lot of good things in the game against Sunderland. Apart from a couple of individual mistakes we were a lot tighter as a unit.

"We know on our day we can score goals. We are fifth in the table after a wretched start so I can't see where we are in a panic situation.

"It would be nice to bring somebody in to bring a bit of a boost for the club.

"That happened with Alan Mahon. We can't have him back because he has already had three months here. I hear things on the grapevine he might be moving but we can't take him on a permanent deal at the moment."

Joe Royle will be at Portman Road tonight supporting the Town youngsters in their FA Youth Cup tie against Sunderland and he was there when they won at Leeds United in the previous round.

"We are strong enough not to have to bring kids into the first team. But Dean Bowditch is a regular member of the squad, Scott Mitchell was involved on Saturday and Aidan Collins is another one though he is suspended tonight.

"I don't miss many reserve games and I am there for as many youth games as I can. I love going to see them, and I meet Bryan Klug (academy director) every day and talk about the youth players.

"It is good to see other clubs, like Arsenal and Chelsea giving young talent a chance.

"We played against a very young Chelsea reserve side and they were very impressive. These clubs have got the young players. If they don't give them a chance they will stagnate."

Meanwhile striker Alun Armstrong has agreed to stay on at Bryan Robson's Bradford City for another month though he will not play against Town for the Tykes on February 14.

Armstrong has scored one goal in five appearances – the winner over Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Royle added: "Alun is a talented player, we know that, and he could bite back.

"It is a gentleman's agreement that he doesn't play against us. We want him taking points off other teams, not us."

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