Royle: Town can still go automatic

FORMER Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle today had a message for his successor at Portman Road Jim Magilton - go all out for automatic promotion.Royle watched his old club lose 1-0 at Coca-Cola Championship leaders Stoke City on Saturday, and saw enough to suggest that the Blues can still finish in the top two.

Elvin King

FORMER Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle today had a message for his successor at Portman Road Jim Magilton - go all out for automatic promotion.

Royle watched his old club lose 1-0 at Coca-Cola Championship leaders Stoke City on Saturday, and saw enough to suggest that the Blues can still finish in the top two.

The ex-Oldham, Everton and Manchester City boss is not a lover of the play-off system.

He twice lost play-off semi-finals while at Portman Road and says that teams that gain promotion that way are at a distinct disadvantage.

“Jim (Magilton) can still gain enough points to gain an automatic Premier League place,” said Royle, who sat right behind Magilton in the directors' box for most of Saturday's game at the Britannia Stadium.

Most Read

“If you are promoted at the end of April or beginning of May you know what players you need and you can start the ball rolling.

“If it is late May before you know where you will be you are playing catch-up and at a big disadvantage.

“Do you go for players to boost you in the Premier League or the Championship?

“By the time you are in a position to get your wallet out you are likely to end up with someone else's problems.”

Royle says that automatic promotion also has its downside.

“While Derby County are suffering most having won the play-off final Sunderland spent £30million and are still in trouble.

“And this is in a Premier League where six or seven of the sides are no better than teams in the Championship.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter