Royle hails 'Marvel Matt'

IPSWICH Town boss Joe Royle today paid tribute to his skipper Matt Holland and said: "He's not had a bad game for me since I came here."Republic of Ireland international Holland makes his 300th appearance for the Blues in tonight's Nationwide Division One match with Wolves at Portman Road (kick-off 7.

By Dave Allard

IPSWICH Town boss Joe Royle today paid tribute to his skipper Matt Holland and said: "He's not had a bad game for me since I came here."

Republic of Ireland international Holland makes his 300th

appearance for the Blues in tonight's Nationwide Division One match with Wolves at Portman Road (kick-off 7.45pm).


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Royle tried to sign Holland when manager of Manchester City and he declared: "Since I've been seeing him regularly firsthand I've

decided that I was right to sound out the situation about him like I did.

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"He's not had a bad game since I came here and I've asked him when he's going to have one so I can see the difference.

"Matt is an absolute dream, a model professional. He has such great consistency. I joke and say that I may try him at left-back one of these days.

"He just keeps going and going. The lads has the respect of everyone and I congratulate him on getting to the 300 games mark for this club."

Tenth in the table Town could leap above eighth-placed Wolves and go into the top six with victory against the men from Molineux tonight.

The Blues will be without the

suspended central defender or

wing-back Hermann Hreidarsson. But centre-half John McGreal is back again after a two-month lay-off due to knee trouble.

Marcus Bent could get the nod up-front against Wolves in place of Pablo Counago.

Counago was sent off early in the last game at home to Sheffield United, a game in which the Blues stormed back with ten men to win

3-2 after going two down just after half-time.

Bent came on at the interval in that match and, although not

scoring, showed great strength through the middle with the marksmen Darren Ambrose and Darren Bent on either side on him.

A bumper 26,000 plus crowd is expected this evening at a crisis club in the early stages of administration.

Royle said: "There have been meetings and the lads were a bit strange for a day. But we have to leave the politics to others. It's not nice what has happened, but we've got to get on with it.

"This is a big, big game for us and I know everyone will give it everything."

He expects no reaction from the hot property teenage duo of Darren Bent and Ambrose following the Newcastle bid for them.

"They've not mentioned it to me and I've not mentioned it to them. In fact, there is nothing to mention. They've always have stick-on grins as they go about the place."

Wolves manager Dave Jones has concerns about striker George Ndah and winger Mark Kennedy. They both have sore backs but are in the squad and are expected to play."

Looking at the Wolves side, Royle commented: "Dennis Irwin is the best free transfer signing I made when manager at Oldham. Mark Kennedy did a great deal to help Manchester City get promotion when I was boss at Maine Road."

THE SQUADS

IPSWICH: Marshall, Wilnis, Makin, McGreal, Gaardsoe, Miller, Holland, Magilton, M Bent, D Bent, Ambrose, Counago, Reuser, Wright, Naylor, Pullen.

WOLVES: Murray, Irwin, Butler, Lescott, Naylor, Newton, Ince, Cameron, Miller, Ndah, Kennedy, Proudlock, Rae, Clyde, Sturridge, Oakes, Blake, Andrews.

LEE Beevers, the Academy defender released by Town, is having a trial at Colchester while stirker Robert Dickinson, who has been at West Ham, Rotherham and Doncaster, is now having trails with Grimsby.

The Town home reserve game with Derby has been brought forward from next Wednesday to the Tuesday night.

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