Royle: Mission Acomplished

Joe Royle today declared Ipswich's pre-season tour of Scandinavia as 'mission accomplished.'The Blues boss was more than happy with the squad's performances over the three games in Sweden and Denmark but admitted the real test is yet to come.

By Georgina James

Joe Royle today declared Ipswich's pre-season tour of Scandinavia as 'mission accomplished.'

The Blues boss was more than happy with the squad's performances over the three games in Sweden and Denmark but admitted the real test is yet to come.

Town scored a total of 11 goals and conceded just two in the games against teams which despite being of lesser opposition proved a good test for the players.

"The tour is exactly what we needed. Decent opposition, not top-class, but excellent surfaces and facilities and as can be expected the Scandinavian hospitality was exceptional," said Royle.

Although the squad, which included half a dozen youngsters, did well the manager is not getting carried away with the results.

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"It is great to have won all three games. We won them well and deservedly so. However, we are under no illusion how different things will be when we get back and realise there is still a lot of hard work to do.

"The game against Levski Sofia will be so much harder and a truer account of where we are at.

"I am pleased with all the players, however the main point of the pre-season tour is to build-up players; fitness levels.

"On face value I am delighted and it's mission accomplished and we have achieved everything that we came for."

Royle was also quick to sing the praises of his two new signing and the batch of youngsters coming through.

"The kids have all done very well as should be proud of their performances. Our two new signings were excellent and we played well and pushed forward without the midfield playmakers of Jim Magilton and Tommy Miller.

"All the strikers were in good form also and showed they can score heavily and Dean Bowditch confirmed his great promise for the future," added Royle.

Royle's hunt for a goalkeeper will intensify as soon as Royle and his coaching staff step off the plane at Gatwick today.

Speculation is rife as to who will fill the gloves but the Blues boss would only say the man he wants is English.

On young Welsh keeper Lewis Price, Royle said: "He didn't have a lot to do yesterday's match but showed good promise.

"There is no reason why when he gets his opportunity that he shouldn't make the reserve keeper position his own."

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