Georges earns Royle approval

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today hailed "unsung hero" Georges Santos.The Blues chief admits Town's rise from rock bottom to the First Division play-off zone has coincided with his versatile Frenchman reverting to a first choice position at centre back.

By Dave Allard

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today hailed "unsung hero" Georges Santos.

The Blues chief admits Town's rise from rock bottom to the First Division play-off zone has coincided with his versatile Frenchman reverting to a first choice position at centre back.

The 6ft 3in Santos was again a rock-like figure at the heart of the defence as the Blues' resurgence continued with a well-won point from a 1-1 draw at Preston on Saturday.


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"When I signed Georges on a two-year contract at the end of the close-season a few eyebrows were raised and some disapproving comments were made in certain quarters," said Royle. "But I think the doubters now realise his worth."

The Town boss, who is set for the October manager of the month award, went on: "Other players in the team have caught the eye possibly more than Georges as we've got our act together and moved up the table, but the big man has been there doing his stuff just as I want him to.

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"He's strong and confident. He wins the ball well and distributes it quickly and effectively."

Santos was a free agent in the summer after failing to agree a new deal with Grimsby.

Royle added: "I've always liked the lad and he did a great job for Grimsby against us last year.

"Besides central defence, Georges can play midfield and even up front.

"When he first came I played him for much of the time in a deep midfield position, but centre half was always where I really wanted him.

"His authority at the back has been such a key factor in our successful run."

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