Joe says there could be more departures
IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today refused to rule out further departures from Portman Road in the near future.But fans need not panic. The manager is not talking about cashing in on the club's major assets and selling rising stars like Shane Supple and Owen Garvan.
By Mel Henderson
IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today refused to rule out further departures from Portman Road in the near future.
But fans need not panic. The manager is not talking about cashing in on the club's major assets and selling rising stars like Shane Supple and Owen Garvan.
He is merely suggesting that once he and his staff sit down to assess the situation, some players may be deemed surplus to requirements.
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Royle has pruned his staff considerably in recent weeks and a number of current players already know they will be playing their football elsewhere next season.
But he took time off from his preparations for tomorrow's final home game of the season against Derby to say: “I still have one or two hard decisions to make.
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“There will definitely be new players coming in - a minimum of two and possibly even three - and at this stage I cannot rule out others leaving.”
Royle will be without Alan Lee (hamstring) and Chris Casement (ankle), while midfielder Ian Westlake will also be absent from Royle's 17-man squad.
Westlake believed he had put himself in contention to be involved after initially being ruled out for the season as a result of ankle damage.
The Town boss, who has seen his men stumble into a depressing run of eight games without a win after briefly raising hopes of a play-off challenge, said: “We are desperate to beat Derby.
“It is a game between two clubs already planning for next season. We have been busy and Derby, apart from looking for a new manager who will have his own plans, are also in takeover talks.
“Our aim is to end the run we have been on. We know we have been conceding too many goals and we could do with a break in front of goal.”
Derby are three point adrift of Town and their main incentive to win is that it would take them ahead of them on goal difference.
IPSWICH: Supple, Price, Wilnis, Sito, De Vos, Naylor, McEveley, Magilton, Juan, Garvan, Richards, Skard, Currie, Haynes, Forster, Bowditch and Peters.
DERBY: Camp, Edworthy, Nyatanga, Addison, M Johnson, McIndoe, Barnes, Bolder, Johnson, Smith, Bisgaard, Jackson, Thirlwell, Ainsworth, Meredith, Idiakez, Holmes, Hanson, Ashton and Poole.
Referee: Lee Probert (Gloucester).