Joe's number one nightmare

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today talked frankly about his number one nightmare.Andy Marshall has retained the shirt in the squad list announced by Royle – but it will be a major shock if he ever gets round to wearing it.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today talked frankly about his number one nightmare.

Andy Marshall has retained the shirt in the squad list announced by Royle – but it will be a major shock if he ever gets round to wearing it.

Although Matteo Sereni's move to Lazio has still not gone through, he looks another non-starter as number one.


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And there is no guarantee, either, that Spanish trialist Javier Sanchez Broto will be installed as Town's top keeper.

Royle expects the ex-Celtic keeper to arrive in Ipswich tonight and may take his first look at him in action in the first pre-season friendly at Southend tomorrow evening.

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Broto will join the Town squad that heads for Scandinavia on Thursday for a three-game tour, when teenage keeper Lewis Price will share the spotlight.

Royle said: "The keeper situation really is up in the air at the moment. It's a bit messy.

"We've got Andy Marshall as number one, but he won't be and it's possible he won't even be here at the start of the season.

"We've also got Matteo Sereni, who could be a number one but doesn't want to be. As for Broto, he's coming on trial so it's still far too early to say whether he will be our number one or not."

Ipswich and Lazio agreed a package for Sereni, but the player has so far refused to commit himself to a deal that will see his wages slashed by 50 per cent.

Royle added: "I really felt we were very close to a deal with Sereni, but now I'm told he is on his way back. I'll believe it when I see it. But if he's back he'll play some part at Southend tomorrow. As for Broto, I'll wait and see what sort of condition he is in.

"His agent tells me he has not done much in the way of training, so we'll wait and see how he is.

"I haven't seen him play yet, but our Scottish scout and others in the game have all given us excellent reports.

"Much as I trust these sources, however, I would be loathe to sign anyone until I have had a good look myself."

Marshall's situation remained shrouded in doubt today, because although Stoke have declared an interest they cannot even come close to his £15,000-a-week wages at Portman Road.

Unless the ex-Norwich man is prepared to take a drastic cut, Stoke boss Tony Pulis is expected to take his search elsewhere.

Royle has drafted defender Chris Hogg and Nabil Abidallah into his squad for tomorrow's visit to Roots Hall, when he intends fielding a different team in each half.

He said: "Don't read anything into that. It's just the way I like to do things at this stage and I've told the players that. I want them to have a good 45 minutes under their belts and it will be very much mix and match until we get serious in our last two pre-season games."

Meanwhile, Royle confirmed that Tommy Miller will inherit the number eight shirt left behind by departed skipper Matt Holland.

Other changes will see Chris Makin, who previously wore 15, switch to number three; new signing Drissa Diallo takes over at number five; Thomas Gaardsoe at six; and teenager Matt Richards moves from 32 to number 14.

Royle added: "We have had so many players leave that there were several vacancies to be filled."

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