Royle: I don't have a magic wand

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle was today resuming his search for reinforcements.But he warned: “There is nothing imminent and I can't just wave a magic wand to conjure up a new player.

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle was today resuming his search for reinforcements.

But he warned: “There is nothing imminent and I can't just wave a magic wand to conjure up a new player. It is all a question of availability.”

Royle's need to strengthen his depleted squad was underlined on Saturday when Town slumped to a 3-2 defeat at Derby, giving Rams' boss George Burley his first victory in five attempts against his former club.

It was Ipswich's “worst display in a long, long time”, according to Royle, who added: “It was hard to say who our best player was - that's how bad it was.”

Royle has made no secret of his desire to bolster a squad top-heavy with youthful talent - ten of the 20 players in the official pre-season picture are 20 and under - but lacking in experience.

He said today: “Things are still the same as far as bringing in any new faces is concerned. There are two or three players I would like to take on loan, but it is all a question of availability.

Most Read

“I'm not going to identify them, or even say where they play, because it just starts a guessing game with several names being bandied about.

“I will speak to people again to assess the situation and ask about availability, but beyond that there is nothing to add.”

There is a possibility that Royle's bid to bring in Arsenal youngster Justin Hoyte could still bear fruit, although he has been playing a waiting game for several weeks now.

I understand the Gunners are happy to sanction a season-long loan for the right-back or centre-half, who recently featured in a number of their pre-season games and was on the bench for the Premiership opener at Everton yesterday.

But he will only be allowed to depart when Arsene Wenger finds a new right-back, which he has made a priority, with Italian international Massimo Oddo the latest candidate to be mentioned.

Hard-up Lazio are in no position to turn down offers for any of their players and the Highbury boss sees Oddo as someone to provide competition for Cameroon international Lauren.

As soon as Arsenal get their man, 19-year-old Hoyte, who won England Under-21 honours last season, could be on his way to Portman Road.

In the meantime, rather than reflect on what went wrong at Derby, Royle and his coaching staff will be anxious to avoid a repeat display against Cardiff at Portman Road on Saturday.

The Town boss added: “We have a home game, which is ideal and we badly need a performance. One thing we cannot afford is to be playing catch-up again, like last season.

“There will have to be a huge improvement

“I don't want to see other teams disappearing over the horizon, with us trying to catch them.

“We are three points off the top of the table and if there's a plus point it's that teams like Leicester, Wolves and West Ham are no better off than ourselves.”

Royle believes Saturday's first team setback places extra emphasis on tomorrow night's FA Premier Reserve League at home to Crystal Palace (kick-off 7pm).

He said: “You've got senior players like Fabian Wilnis and Pablo Counago playing for places in the first team.

“They should be sending me a message - 'Hey, we want to play!'

“But looking back to Saturday, it was a daft game. We've scored twice, yet their keeper's not had a save to make, while Derby put three past us and Kelvin (Davis) was just as inactive.

“To say we were not at our best would be an under-statement and when we get down to work this week the only thing on our minds should be putting it right against Cardiff.”