Royle: More to come from Darren

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today saluted Darren Bent's latest goal for England and promised: “There is still a lot more to come.”Bent scored in stoppage time as England defeated Ukraine 3-1 in an under-21 friendly international at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium last night.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today saluted Darren Bent's latest goal for England and promised: “There is still a lot more to come.”

Bent scored in stoppage time as England defeated Ukraine 3-1 in an under-21 friendly international at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium last night.

It took the Town striker's record at this level to three goals in six appearances and, amazingly, all have come in the last three minutes of play.

Royle, anxious to see his team recover from a below-par display at Derby and return to winning ways against Cardiff this weekend, quipped: “I hope he's kept at least one back for Saturday.

“I know Darren scored for us at Nottingham Forest last week, but I feel he's due another one. He hasn't quite hit his best form this season.

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“But last night's goal won't have done him any harm. It's a great feeling scoring for your country.”

Royle knows what he's talking about, having been a regular marksman for England at Under-23 level and netting twice in his six senior international appearances.

Bent, 20, replaced Newcastle teenager James Milner on the hour mark in a game that saw 19-year-old team-mate Matt Richards earn his first cap before being withdrawn at the interval.

The third Town player in the squad, 20-year-old Ian Westlake, was among the unused substitutes.

Royle paid tribute to Bent, last season's 16-goal leading marksman, and his scoring record at club level.

“He's not far off one every two games,” said the Town boss. “His record for us is fantastic and there is still so much more to come from the kid.

“It's not that Darren lacks confidence, it's just that he is still young and learning the striker's craft, which is something we are trying to teach him.

“One thing Darren does have is the knack of being in the right place at the right time - and that's something you definitely can't teach.

“Darren's record for Ipswich is impressive and he's a great kid who is willing to learn. He wants to be at the very top, but he's still young.”

Royle will be relieved that all three Under-21 players will report back fit and well, unlike Canada international Jason De Vos, who was due back at the club today.

De Vos is suffering from a hairline fracture of the fibula, just below his knee, which was discovered as he prepared for his country's World Cup qualifier against Guatemala in Vancouver tonight.

The 30-year-old defender will have the damage assessed by the club's medical staff, with a visit to a specialist also scheduled before he knows how long he is likely to be sidelined.

Typically, he is willing to play on if the experts give him the go-ahead, although it is felt he is more likely to be ordered to rest and at this stage must be rated doubtful for the weekend.

Royle said: “People do play with this injury but we have to assess whether Jason would make it worse, in which case it would make more sense to rest and recover fully.”

Skipper Jim Magilton, a non-starter for Town this season due to a torn thigh muscle, is in line to return against Cardiff.

“Jim is on his way back,” reported Royle. “He is in with a big chance at the weekend after training yesterday and he will step it up over the next couple of days.

“We must decide whether he is fit enough to start, should he be on the bench and come on at some stage, or is he still not ready and we won't do that until at least Friday.”

Royle watched the Town reserves lose 2-1 at home to their Crystal Palace counterparts at Portman Road last night, with rising star Scott Barron on target.

He was pleased with the contribution of senior pair Fabian Wilnis and Shefki Kuqi, adding: “Both will be pushing for a start on Saturday.”

However, striker Pablo Counago was less impressive and Royle admitted: “Pablo is still looking to find his form this season.”

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