Joe: Same again, please

IPSWICH are set to field an unchanged side for the third game in a row at Burnley tonight.Manager Joe Royle was giving nothing away about his team selection plans, but it will be a major shock if he does not stick with the starting line-up from Saturday's win at Leeds and the narrow derby defeat at home to Norwich.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH are set to field an unchanged side for the third game in a row at Burnley tonight.

Manager Joe Royle was giving nothing away about his team selection plans, but it will be a major shock if he does not stick with the starting line-up from Saturday's win at Leeds and the narrow derby defeat at home to Norwich.

Royle is toying with the idea of giving French midfielder Jimmy Juan, on loan from Monaco, his first Championship start at Turf Moor.

He said: “I thought Jimmy had his best 25 minutes or so for us at Elland Road. It looked to me as if he was at last coming to terms with the demands of the English game.

“I was very pleased with his contribution. He is starting to realise that you also have to play when you don't have the ball.”

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Royle and his players stayed up north after Saturday's welcome win that ended a four-game sequence without a victory and from which they had taken just one point from a possible 12.

While they have continued to train, the accent has been on relaxation and yesterday the Town squad spent several hours at the Trafford Centre in Manchester, where they could choose between shopping and the cinema.

Royle said: “After dinner last night we had a game of cards. It has been a good chance for the players to have a little bit of rest.

“I think the players who have young babies at home - Jason De Vos and Darren Currie for example - are particularly benefiting from the break.”

The Town boss will be reminding his players that tonight's game against second-bottom Burnley will be a tough assignment.

He added: “I will be impressing on the lads that anyone thinking tonight's game is a roll-over, just because we beat Leeds, has got a shock coming.

“Burnley are better than their league position suggests. I have been reading several reports our scouts have supplied and they are a big side.

“Several managers and coaches at this level have decided that big is good and we all know what John McGreal can do. He is a player I never wanted us to lose.

“They also have Ade Akinbiyi, one of the leading scorers at this level, but what they haven't been able to do is keep many clean sheets.”

The Clarets have netted 14 times in 10 league games, as opposed to Town's 10, but leaking 16 means they have managed to secure just one win.

Royle would love to see striker Sam Parkin add to his two-goal blast at Leeds, but his main concern is that his team can bank a further three points and continue to climb the table.

He said: “We all enjoyed Saturday, although we can play better. But we scored two, had one disallowed and should have had a blatant penalty.

“We defended magnificently when we had to and it was probably three points that a lot of people didn't expect us to gain.

“Sam will get a lift from his goals. That's four in nine games now and three of them - one at Millwall and the two at Leeds - have been worth six points to us.

“And what people tend to forget is that he is still youngish at 24 and still learning his way in the game.”

Meanwhile, Burnley boss Steve Cotterill is urging fans to roar their team to victory this evening.

Cotterill, who last oversaw a victory when the Clarets defeated Coventry 4-0 in August, said: “The players need the win and the supporters can drive them on to that.

“If they want to back them to the absolute hilt, with every pass, every tackle, every header, every throw-in, everything, that will help them no end and that's what I'm asking from them.

“I think there was an expectancy, because we were playing Brighton, that we'd win on Saturday. Yet they've gone to Derby, Preston and Leeds and drawn, and I wouldn't mind betting that we've given them the most difficult draw.

“It will be easy to sit and sulk about things but no one is going to thank anyone for that. We're unhappy with where we are in the league, but you've got to keep cracking on at it and sooner or later things will turn for us.”

Burnley have been hit by a series of injury blows, the latest of which saw goalkeeper Danny Coyne stretchered off at the weekend and in danger of missing the remainder of the season with cruciate ligament damage.

Cotterill added: “We're in that nervy position in the table and there's no point in saying people don't look at it, because they do. We all do.

“If you get a win it can shove you up five or six places and if you get two wins it can put you in the top half of the table. We're not the only team that seems to be suffering at the moment.”

SQUADS

BURNLEY: Jensen, Duff, McGreal, Lowe, Harley, Elliott, G O'Connor, Hyde, J O'Connor, Noel-Williams, Akinbiyi, Sinclair, Branch, McCann, Berringham, Spicer and Lafferty.

IPSWICH: Price, Sito, De Vos, Naylor, McEveley, Currie, Magilton, Horlock, Garvan, Bowditch, Parkin, Wilnis, Richards, McDonald, Peters, Juan, Haynes and Supple.

Referee: Mike Pike (Cumbria).

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