Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 2°C


Low budget Ipswich Town can compete for promotion in ‘ordinary’ Championship, says Joe Royle

PUBLISHED: 17:46 07 November 2017

Joe Garner, Martyn Waghorn and David McGoldrick celebrate during Ipswich Town's 3-0 home win against Preston North End on Saturday. Photo: Steve Waller

Joe Garner, Martyn Waghorn and David McGoldrick celebrate during Ipswich Town's 3-0 home win against Preston North End on Saturday. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

The ‘ordinary’ nature of the Championship means Ipswich Town should maintain hope of a serious promotion push despite Mick McCarthy’s restrictions in the transfer market, according to former manager Joe Royle.

The ex-Blues boss does, however, believe McCarthy would benefit from January additions to give the club’s promising start added impetus.

Ipswich head into the November international break just two points off the play-off places with a game in hand on many sides around them, with the majority of clubs above them having spent significantly more in the transfer market than McCarthy has been afforded.

But, despite that, Royle believes there is no reason the Blues can’t be in the thick of the battle when the business end of the season arrives.

“I honestly feel the Championship gets more ordinary every year and that’s not having a go,” said Royle.

“That means clubs can come up without a massive budget. We’ve seen what happened with the likes of Watford and then Bournemouth, certainly smaller clubs than Ipswich, so it can be done. The problem then is staying up but then that’s another issue.

“It’s exciting because of the level playing field. On any given day any team can beat any other team and that makes for excitement, but in terms of quality I don’t think it’s as good as when we were there with West Ham vying for top positions.”

Royle, who himself operated on a limited budget at Portman Road and led the club to the play-offs on two occasions, believes new faces can give promotion pushes new life.

“I’m sure Mick would like the cash to bring someone in because that can always ‘freshen’ the squad up in a certain position,” he said. “It’s always nice to bring someone in because Mick has dealt largely in bargain basement buys and loans.

“When I was at Ipswich I inherited the bones of a good George Burley squad including great defenders like Fabian Wilnis, the prospect of Darren Bent and players like Matt Holland and Jamie Clapham, but after that we had to watch the players go out.

“In the first year we surged from the bottom to just outside the play-offs, if we could have loaned anybody while we were in administration I’m sure we would have made it up then.”

Royle is now head of youth development at Everton, a big part of his job tracking the development of the eight Toffees youngsters currently on loan at Championship clubs.

One of those is Callum Connolly, the versatile 20-year-old having started in midfield for Town’s 3-0 home win against Preston on Saturday.

“I know the boy’s talents and I told Mick when we loaned him that he can play full-back, centre-back and in a holding midfield role because he is a talented boy,” said Royle.

“Mick was telling me the last time I spoke to him that he was looking like he was settling in and very comfortable in the place. Sometimes we don’t always take that into consideration when young boys go out on loan.

“Letting him go to Ipswich was easy because he is a talented boy and I really hope he does well.”

Ipswich Town return to Championship action with a game against Hull City, at The KC Stadium, this afternoon (3pm).

In this week’s nostalgia, we take a look at when Hull and Ipswich shared the points at Portman Road in February 2011 as Jason Scotland and Jay Simpson scored in the 1-1 draw.

Very few punters are giving Ipswich Town a chance at Hull this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

There are plenty of reasons to be positive heading into Ipswich Town’s clash with Hull City.

Ipswich Town take on Hull City, at The KC Stadium, in a Championship match this afternoon (3pm). Here’s all you need to know.

Hull boss Leonid Slutsky is expecting Ipswich Town to provide his side with a ‘direct’ examination when they clash at the KC Stadium.

Ipswich Town defender Jordan Spence on a number of issues heading into the Blues’ Championship visit to Hull.

Chief football writer Stuart Watson and Ipswich Town reporter Andy Warren discuss all the goings on at Portman Road ahead of the weekend trip to Hull.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes his team have the character and quality to deal with the major acid test ahead.

Hollywood star Idris Elba has got Ipswich Town fans talking after he was pictured holding a pair of teddybears featuring the club badge.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24