Burley not surprised by Ipswich win

GEORGE Burley, the man who masterminded such riches for Ipswich Town as the 21st century commenced, was not surprised to see the Blues in such commanding form on Saturday.

By Elvin King

GEORGE Burley, the man who masterminded such riches for Ipswich Town as the 21st century commenced, was not surprised to see the Blues in such commanding form on Saturday.

The recently appointed Southampton boss had no excuses after his Saints had been beaten 2-0 in the Championship on Saturday.

He said: “I had spoken to Joe and he told me that things were coming together at Portman Road.

“And you could see on Saturday the improvement that has been made over the last month or so.

“Ipswich are improving, and with Alan Lee now on board to arrest a lack of goals the future looks promising for Joe and his team.

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“Alan Lee proved a handful, and my back four could not handle the lone striker. We wanted a steady start but Alan scored a goal out of nothing early on.”

Burley saw three players who were involved when the Blues won promotion, finished fifth in the Premiership and played in Europe.

“Richard Naylor, who has asked me to play in a warm-up game prior to his testimonial, mixes it well with Jason De Vos at the back,” said Burley, while Fabian Wilnis and Jim Magilton showed they still have roles under Royle.

Burley, who was dismissed from Portman Road after a number of failed expensive signings and relegation to the Championship, was scathing of his own players.

He did not hold back on his criticism. He said: “I must find out who wants to play and who wants to go.

“We have too many players and relegation could be an issue if we do not buck up.

“We need some fresh blood and need to improve. We did not play well enough and I have no excuses over this defeat.

“In my first season at Ipswich we were at rock bottom, and I like a challenge. And at Derby the scenario was the same.”

Royle is not getting carried away after this win. He said: “We're not getting too excited, we are a long way from the play-offs, but with a few more players coming back you never know.”

Ipswich stay ten points behind a play-off place with no game this Saturday as they were knocked out of the FA Cup.

Royle felt his side weren't ever in any serious danger: “Shane Supple only had one real save to make and we defended magnificently.

“I never felt we were threatened at any stage, only a few shots from distance, and it shows that we are continuing to move forward, as we have done over the last four games.”

Refering to calls for the removal of Saints chairman Rupert Lowe, Burley said: “I have full support for the chairman. There is nothing he could do but sell players in the current situation.

“Fans get frustrated at any club when things don't go right on the pitch, and they haven't gone right here for the last two years.

“And when you lose the best young player in the country, it's even more frustrating. I can understand their reaction.”

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