Naylor happy to let strikers take over

DEFENDER Richard Naylor goes into tomorrow's Ipswich Town home game with Rotherham as the proud three-goal top marksman at Portman Road.The last time Naylor topped the scoring charts at the start of October was in 1999.

By Dave Allard

DEFENDER Richard Naylor goes into tomorrow's Ipswich Town home game with Rotherham as the proud three-goal top marksman at Portman Road.

The last time Naylor topped the scoring charts at the start of October was in 1999...and look what happened that season!

The Blues ended the campaign by beating Barnsley 4-2 in a First Division Wembley play-off final with Naylor coming on as a substitute to get one of the goals.


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His goals this season – two grand headers and a close-range effort – have been a real bonus for manager Joe Royle at a time when his front men have so often fired blanks.

Naylor said: "The more goals I can get the better. But there are some very talented strikers ready to boost their tallies."

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And Royle is looking for his strikers to start delivering more firepower.

"Richard (Naylor) has done so well and he was so unfortunate to be dropped at one stage," he said.

"Now I'm looking for the players at the sharp end to overtake him. I'm looking for a good scoring pair to emerge up front.

"It's happened in bits and pieces in front of goal. Now I'm looking for it to really move on."

Naylor added: "To have got three goals has been a big bonus for me at a time when I'm still adjusting fully after being moved to central defence from up front.

"I think you tend to head the ball a lot more at the back and as a result my h

has improved. I've managed to get in the right place at the right time and it's been brilliant."

Naylor's third of the campaign was a power header that made it 2-2 in the match at Sunderland on Tuesday night.

But the Black Cats went on to win 3-2 and Naylor admitted: "The joy of the goal was diminished a great deal by the result. I felt we played well for most of that game and deserved to get something from the match."

Town have a worry about keeper Kelvin Davis, who has a throat in infection. He did not report for training today as a precaution.

The former Wimbledon man is expected to be fit but if he is not considered right then teenager Lewis Price will make his debut.

Striker Darren Bent is rated 50-50 with a knee injury and may have to take a late fitness test.

THE SQUADS

IPSWICH: Davis, Wilnis, Richards, Naylor, Santos, Magilton, Bart-Williams, Wright, Kuqi, Bent, Counago, Mahon, Armstrong, Westlake, Bowditch, Nash, Price.

ROTHERHAM: Pollitt, Scott, Swailes, McIntosh, Hurst, Sedgwick, Baudet, Robinson, Warne, Byfield, Butler, Monkhouse, R Barker, Montgomery, Talbot.

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Billericay).

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