Royle hails super subs

IPSWICH Town boss Joe Royle today defended his ploy in keeping super-kids Darren Bent and Darren Ambrose on the bench.The Blues chief declared: "They're both big impact players and have done well in coming on.

By Dave Allard

IPSWICH Town boss Joe Royle today defended his ploy in keeping super-kids Darren Bent and Darren Ambrose on the bench.

The Blues chief declared: "They're both big impact players and have done well in coming on. In the case of Benty, he's scored more goals this season appearing from the bench."

Royle has come under increased pressure regarding the pair after the 2-0 defeat at Bradford on Saturday.


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Both 18-year-olds, who have scored 21 goals this season between them, came on in the second half.

The Town manager, who has rejuvenated their Nationwide Division One fortunes since arriving in late October, was at pains to stress: "Both Darrens are smashing lads. I think the world of them. Their time will come, believe me.

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"But we've been using them as we have and it's been working well in what has been a good move towards where we want to be in the table.

"Both are lads who have come on to make their big impacts as substitutes. At this early stage in their careers I think they've been better as subs.

"Working with young players is all about developing them as you think best. Both these players have great futures and will be playing increased parts as time goes on."

Town's defeat at Valley Parade was their first in the league since early December, and the display was described as "sloppy" by Royle.

He is threatening changes for Saturday's visit of Sheffield United but says: "At this stage I can't go into detail. But I have things in mind."

Bent, who will 19 on Thursday, and Ambrose, who will reach that age later in the month, are no doubt very much a part of his thinking regarding the starting line-up.

Meanwhile, the Ipswich boss is hoping referee Clive Wilkes will change his mind after Saturday's 50th minute sending off of wing-back Hermann Hreidarsson for an incident in which his hand went into the face of Bradford's Simon Francis.

Royle said: "It wasn't really clear on the video. Hermann insist that it was not intentional and I believe that. Clive Wilkes is a good referee and a good man.

"I've asked him to look at it and he will. He's the sort of official who has not been shy to change things in the past and I can only hope this may be the case again.

"It would certainly be a big blow to lose Hermann for three games. You have to try in these situations and the referee can do no more than say he will take another look."

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