Becks: Town deserve place in big time

ENGLAND captain David Beckham today had a "get back soon" message for Joe Royle's Ipswich Town.The mega-star former Manchester United and now Real Madrid man, declared after last night's 3-1 England win over Croatia at Portman Road: "I've always loved coming to Ipswich and the atmosphere for this game was brilliant.

By Dave Allard

ENGLAND captain David Beckham today had a "get back soon" message for Joe Royle's Ipswich Town.

The mega-star former Manchester United and now Real Madrid man, declared after last night's 3-1 England win over Croatia at Portman Road: "I've always loved coming to Ipswich and the atmosphere for this game was brilliant."

Beckham, who scored the first goal from the penalty spot and made the second for Liverpool's Michael Owen, continued: "This may not be a massive stadium, but it's a special one. I was sad to see Ipswich come out of the Premiership and I hope they can get back this season, I really do.

"They've got a very experienced and well-respected manager in Joe Royle and I feel they've got every chance. It's a place and a stadium that deserves Premiership football."

Beckham gave way after 59 minutes to herald the entry of ex-Ipswich hero Kieron Dyer, now with Newcastle.

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Dyer had a hand in England's third goal from Chelsea's Frank Lampard.

England skipper Beckham was given a fantastic reception when he went off and he saluted every corner of the ground.

He added: "Every time I went over to take a corner the fans nearby really roused me with their encouragement. It really was a great night and the result was a big boost for us."

Mick Mills, the ex-Town and England skipper, was one of the Football Association's special guests last night.

He said: "It was a great evening for the club. It was an entertaining game with the right result. Ipswich can feel proud of the way it all went off."

Portman Road was today getting back to normality today with the massive hospitality marquees being taken down on the practice pitch after an international match played in front of a crowd of just under 30,000.

At the Playford Road training ground, boss Royle was preparing his squad for Saturday's visit of Coventry in the Nationwide Division One. A 25,000 crowd is expected.

The Blues, who just missed out on the play-offs last season, are after a first league win following a 1-1 home draw with Reading on the opening day and the 1-0 loss at Crewe last Saturday.

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