Royle delighted by five-star Blues

JOE Royle today spoke of his delight after Ipswich Town regained the scoring touch.Two goals from Tommy Miller and strikes from Darren Bent, Pablo Counago and Jim Magilton secured a 5-1 victory against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

JOE Royle today spoke of his delight after Ipswich Town regained the scoring touch.

Two goals from Tommy Miller and strikes from Darren Bent, Pablo Counago and Jim Magilton secured a 5-1 victory against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

Ipswich had only scored twice in their previous three warm-up games and Royle was pleased with the effort of his strikers.

He said: “It was a very good performance against a side that drew 1-1 with Chelsea (on Saturday) and had their tails up.

“We played particularly well after going a goal behind. It was nice to see Pablo Counago looking like his best, Darren Bent was electric and Dean Bowditch had his best performance of pre-season.”

“Apart from the goal we looked solid in defence and it was a very good performance.”

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Royle also praised the display of Drissa Diallo, who played at right back after Fabian Wilnis had ricked his back after training.

However, Wilnis and Kevin Horlock, who missed last night's match with a rib injury, are expected to return to the Ipswich team against Crystal Palace at Portman Road on Saturday.

Royle said this will be a tougher game but was pleased with the fitness shown from his players last night.

He said: “Oxford used ten subs and, apart from two substitutions, we had the same side. We are getting stronger and scored in the last minute with Jim Magilton arriving from midfield. The fact he got there speaks well for our fitness.

“We have only lost one out of four and last night reminded us that we do score goals. Darren Bent and Pablo Counago got on the scoresheet and both played well. We will take all the positives from it.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Mark Rivers, who played three warm-up matches for Ipswich, has rejoined Crewe on a free transfer.

Rivers, 28, spent seven seasons at Gresty Road before joining Norwich in 2001. He was released by the Canaries last month and played in Ipswich's games against Peterborough, Randers and AAB Aalborg but failed to impress Joe Royle.

Rivers played in Crewe's friendly with Everton last night and agreed a deal at the Championship side

during half-time of the match.

Crewe manager Dario Gradi said: “I know what he's like as a footballer I just wanted to see if he can still run, and he showed me he could so that will do.”

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