Our worst yet, admits Royle

"WE must stop leaking goals," said Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle after lowly Grimsby had left Portman Road with a First Division point."We appear to have a gift for giving goals away.

By Elvin King

"WE must stop leaking goals," said Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle after lowly Grimsby had left Portman Road with a First Division point.

"We appear to have a gift for giving goals away. This was the worst performance since I have been in charge."

Royle confirmed how he would like to have two Matt Hollands on the pitch.


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"I would love to play him in midfield and at the back," he added. "He was our only player who defended properly again and he was our star in midfield during the first period.

"In the end I am pleased with a point, although we deserved something from the game.

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"We did not create much in attack, did not pass well in midfield and made errors at the back.

"Our defending was poor for Grimsby's first goal and young James Pullen let in a dolly for the second. My hands are tied by our financial position and I cannot bring in a loan keeper."

Royle also admitted that the loss through suspension of Hermann Hreidarsson was felt.

"Hermann makes us stronger. He is versatile and can play at the back, at left back and left wing-back.

"That cannot be used as an excuse for the poor way we played. Richard Naylor missed a sitter, but otherwise we created very little.

"A crumbling pitch, which is no reflection on the groundstaff, did not help us and no one was prepared to take responsibility and hold the ball.

"John McGreal is a fine defender and we will now have eight days to work with him. He is not quite fit yet after his knee injury."

Grimsby player-manager Paul Groves was disappointed at dropping two points to a late Darren Bent equaliser.

"We can take encouragement from restricting a good side like Ipswich to just a few chances.

"Our keeper had no saves in the second half and we did well enough to force Ipswich into changing their system and personnel at the interval."

It looks like the four bottom sides will fight out the relegation places, with Grimsby dropping into the bottom three despite this point.

"It will go down to the wire," said Groves. "I expect to be involved in a scrap to the

bitter end. We have survived before and we can do it again."

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