Q&A: Royle's Blues views

JOE Royle the former Ipswich Town manager watched the Tractor Boys lose 1-0 at leaders Stoke City on Saturday.“It was nice to meet up with many old friends again,” he said.

Elvin King

JOE Royle the former Ipswich Town manager watched the Tractor Boys lose 1-0 at leaders Stoke City on Saturday.

“It was nice to meet up with many old friends again,” he said.

Royle gave Evening Star football correspondent ELVIN KING his views on the Blues, the Championship and his own future.

EK: If you had any advice for Jim Magilton what would it be?

JR: To get promoted this season. I have never known the standard of the Championship to be as ordinary as it is now. It will have to be a much harder division to get out of next year.

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EK: How do you rate the Coca-Cola Championship?

JR: Not one team is averaging two points a game. This shows that there is no team playing at any great level.. This adds to the excitement as everybody can beat everybody else.

EK: Ipswich still got a chance of automatic promotion?

JR: Certainly. Any team that puts a run together of four or five wins from around Ipswich's position will shoot right up the table.

EK: What teams do Ipswich need to fear?

JR: Stoke are the emerging team. I am pleased for their manager Tony Pulis. He is a great guy and he could easily have hanged himself when I was manager of Manchester City and we came back in the dying seconds to win a level three play-off final at Wembley when he was manager of Gillingham. He has made his team hard to beat.

EK: Who else?

JR: Plymouth are coming along nicely and Hull are a danger. The main suspects will be in the mix, but Watford are no where as convincing as when they went up two years ago. Crystal Palace been and gone, and there could be more surprises.

EK: Who is going down?

JR: Here again it is anybody's guess. Nobody is being left behind and teams in the bottom three now could comfortably still make mid-table.

EK: Would David Nugent make a difference to Ipswich?

JR: Attack-wise Ipswich did not function as well as they would have liked at Stoke. The wind did not help and the front two did not get a very good service. David Nugent is a proven scorer in the Championship. This will continue if he drops down, and it looks as though he will. It is the biggest step of all - a striker moving into the Premier League.

EK: What is your view of manager Jim Magilton's sending off on Saturday?

JR: Jim has a different temperament to me. He is more fiery, but he was controlled and calm by the time he returned to the directors' box. Certain referees can make situations worse when passions are running high. The multi-ball system is always open to corruption, but we have to live with it.

EK: How did you deal with it?

JR: I used to make sure I had a word with the referee before the game and that he made sure it worked the same for both sides. He had no comeback then.

EK: What was your view of Saturday's game at the Britannia Stadium?

JR: It was typical of the Championship this season. Both teams worked hard but you could not say that in the windy conditions it was the highest skilled game you have seen.

EK: What did you think of Ipswich transfer window signings?

JR: Velice Sumulikoski looks a player. I liked him, he did the simple things well. Some players need time to find their feet.

EK: Are you still looking for a job in football?

JR: I have just come back from Majorca and will be going out there again soon. And my wife Janet and I have a trip to Australia in the pipeline. But if the right club came along - and there haven't been any recently - then I would be interested. A club that wanted to give it a real go.

What do you think? Do you agree with Joe Royle's views? Write to Sports Desk, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or email starsport@eveningstar.co.uk. Please include you full name and address.

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