Joe: No experiments

IPSWICH Town manager Joe Royle today confirmed that there will be no experiments in Saturday's FA Cup third round tie against Premiership Portsmouth at Portman Road.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Joe Royle today confirmed that there will be no experiments in Saturday's FA Cup third round tie against Premiership Portsmouth at Portman Road.

And the Blues boss refused to rule out the prospect of Southampton's Ricardo Fuller still joining the club on a season's loan after earlier reports indicated the striker had turned down the chance.

Town have not reached the fifth round of the FA Cup since 1995/96 when they were beaten 3-1 at home by Aston Villa. Last season they lost 3-1 at home to Bolton in the third round.

Royle said: “It gives us an incentive to try and get beyond a couple of rounds at least. We will be going for it, and I will name my strongest available side.

“There will be no experiments. The cup gives the players a chance to get away from the pressures of the Championship.

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“Indications are that we will attract between 16,000 to 20,000 to the game, and this may be more with a new signing in the team. We want to give our fans something to cheer. It has been ten years since Ipswich had a cup run.”

Royle is the last English manager to lift the coveted trophy when Everton tasted glory at Wembley Stadium in 1995.

Skipper Jim Magilton is the latest injury doubt with sciatica, and Royle will see how he goes today. Sito Castro hoped to train n From back page

normally today, while Adam Proudlock is struggling with a knee knock. Royle has ruled out strikers Nicky Forster and Dean Bowditch for the Pompey game.

Danny Haynes is fit after missing the Stoke 2-2 draw on Monday, and he was one of three Town players to sign new contracts yesterday.

Haynes, who was released by Charlton in 2004, said: “I can't believe how things have changed around for me since I joined Ipswich.

“It is all happened so fast. I know injuries have opened the door for me and it is up to me to take my chance now and I'm determined to do so.”

Haynes has signed for Ipswich until the summer of 2008, while Spaniard Sito has also signed a two-and-half- year deal.

The versatile full back agreed the extension on the one-year contract he was handed in August after impressing during a trial.

Castro arrived from Spanish second division side Racing Ferrol and has been a regular at full back ever since and has enjoyed life in England.

Castro said: “The players and fans have made me feel so welcome. Playing in front of 24,000 at Ipswich is great and when the fans sing my name it gives me goose-bumps.”

Midfielder Gavin Williams completed the formalities of his three-and-half-year contract after agreeing personal terms to join the Blues full-time after a successful loan spell from West Ham.

Commenting on the Fuller situation, Royle stressed: “The deal is not dead. It is a big move for the player and he wants to talk to his agent Phil Brown, who has been out of the country.

“Nothing is likely to happen quickly, but I have not given up hope.

“I have two other strikers we are in contact with and I have not ruled out something happening this week.”

Southampton had agreed to allow Fuller, a Jamaican international, to spend the remainder of 2005/06 at Portman Road.

New Saints boss George Burley is keen to reduce the size of his squad and was willing to offload the former Preston and Portsmouth striker to his old club.

Fuller, 26, has scored three goals in 16 starts and six substitute appearances this season.

Portsmouth are suddenly in the money with a new part-owner Alexandre Gaydamark taking a £15m half share in the Fratton Park club, and that could hasten Svetoslav Todorov's departure on loan.

Royle watched former Blues target Arturo Lupoli score twice for Arsenal in a reserve fixture they won 2-0 against Ipswich at the Gunners' training ground yesterday.

“Against Arsenal's Carling Cup side we did very well,” said Royle. “Mart Poom had a great game in goal for the home side. Kevin Horlock impressed and came through well.”


Arsenal Res: Poom, Eboue (Murphy, 45) Gilbert, Larsson, Djourou, Senderos (Simpson, 62. Kelly, 76) Stokes, Muamba, Bendtner, Lupoli, Abeyie. Subs not used: Mannone, Elston.

Ipswich Town Res: Garnham, Mitchell (Short, 76) Ainsley, Lordan, Nash, Peters, Horlock, Leabon, Moore, Craig. Subs not used: Fenn, Sheringham.

IPSWICH Town have announced preliminary ticket details for the East Anglian derby match with Norwich City at Carrow Road on Sunday, February 5.

The Blues have been given 2,400 tickets by City. Away match passport holders will be sent their tickets next week, and then Town will send tickets out to fans who are on the club's database as having attended several away matches this season.

Any tickets remaining after that process will then go on sale to Gold Card holders from January 16.

Tickets are priced £25 for adults, £18 for concessions and £11 for fans under 12 years old.