TV ghost worries Royle

BLUES boss Joe Royle is hoping Ipswich can salvage pride as well as gaining three valuable points against Sunderland on Sunday.Town's woeful performance at Wolves, especially the first half, is the second time this season that his side have been embarrassed on live television.

By Derek Davis

BLUES boss Joe Royle is hoping Ipswich can salvage pride as well as gaining three valuable points against Sunderland on Sunday.

Town's woeful performance at Wolves, especially the first half, is the second time this season that his side have been embarrassed on live television.

The first came last November when they put in a well-below-par showing at Sunderland and lost 2-0.


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Royle said: “We have had relatively few games where we have not played well but, unfortunately, two of those were on live television, so perhaps television has not seen the best of us this year.”

The wily manager, who has won promotion with Oldham and Manchester City in the past, dismisses suggestions that Sunday's game is the be-all-and-end-all of their automatic promotion hopes.

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He said: “If we lost, and then won the next three, then we would still have a great chance of going up automatically.

“It is only a must-win inasmuch as we need to exorcise the first 20 minutes of the other night but, mathematically, it is not a must-win. A must-win will be if it is the last game of the season and we need three points.”

Royle has no doubt that Mick McCarthy's Black Cats will be coming to Portman Road looking to steal all three points.

He warned: “Sunderland are a very organised side and will play as they always do with two banks of four.

“They will try to hit us quickly on the break. They have had a lot of away wins by hitting sides on the break and we will be aware of that.

“They are built on a solid back four, who are all internationals, and have two top keepers. I have a lot of respect for what Mick has done up there.”

Ian Westlake is still a doubt with a knee injury but will be given until Sunday morning to prove his fitness. He has not trained all week but is expected to have a run out tomorrow.

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