Joe backs Pullen to overcome debut jolt

IPSWICH Town boss Joe Royle says that his 20-year-old keeper James Pullen is recovering well after a one-off league debut that was "a bit of a jolt".Former Town keeper Richard Wright has even been in touch to have words of encouragement for him.

By Dave Allard

IPSWICH Town boss Joe Royle says that his 20-year-old keeper James Pullen is recovering well after a one-off league debut that was "a bit of a jolt".

Former Town keeper Richard Wright has even been in touch to have words of encouragement for him.

One-time Heybridge Swifts stopper Pullen made his Town league debut in place of the axed Andy Marshall against Grimsby at Portman Road in February.

The 2-2 draw turned out to be a daunting experience for Pullen and the experienced Marshall came straight back the following weekend at former club Norwich to do well in the 2-0 derby triumph.

While ex-England Under-21 cap Marshall has been re-building his senior career successfully, Pullen has gone back to re-building his confidence in the reserves and with special one-to-one sessions from coach Malcolm Webster.

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Boss Royle continued: "That Grimsby game was a bit of a jolt for James, but he has started to look like his old self again and did well for the reserves this week in the home win over Nottingham Forest at our place.

"The experience against Grimsby knocked James sideways a bit, but he can bounce back from it a better keeper than ever. This is what he's got to do and we'll all help him."

Coach Webster said: "Richard Wright has had a chat with James and told him about similar situations that have happened to him. Andy Marshall has been very supportive and I've been doing all I usually do with James, and more.

"What we're looking for is consistency, both in training and in games. It's still very early for James in his career. He's a determined lad, full of character and I've no doubt that he'll become stronger and stronger."

Pullen spent the majority of last season on loan at Blackpool where he was their regular stopper for much of the time. He has played two senior Town games with the one prior to the Grimsby league baptism being in a home Worthington Cup win over Middlesbrough.

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