Royle plans Denmark trip

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle was today hoping to put the finishing touches to his team's pre-season preparations.Royle was deep in discussion with agents in a bid to complete the programme prior to jetting off to Portugal for Euro 2004.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle was today hoping to put the finishing touches to his team's pre-season preparations.

Royle was deep in discussion with agents in a bid to complete the programme prior to jetting off to Portugal for Euro 2004.

The Town boss, who will be part of the BBC TV commentary team at the football festival, said: “We have arranged some games, both home and away, but there is still a bit of a gap to be filled.

“I am looking for a short tour - two games in six days - to Denmark next month.

“But the fact that we are behind schedule because of the play-offs and couldn't make final plans until we knew which division we would be in next season, has made it difficult to finalise things.

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“At the moment we want to go to Denmark and I hope it will be possible but I am waiting for a call to confirm it.”

Ipswich, who visit Peterborough on July 10, have also arranged a pre-season test at Oxford on July 20.

They have finalised a Portman Road clash with newly promoted Crystal Palace on July 24 - kick-off 12 noon - and Newcastle are the visitors four days later for the Dale Roberts Testimonial match.

Town also hope to fit in a home game against Italian side Lazio either the following weekend or on Monday, August 2.

The Lazio game was organised as part of the transfer last year of goalkeeper Matteo Sereni to the Rome club.

Royle said: “There is still a chance of Lazio but again nothing has been finalised. But even if it's not them it is very unlikely there will be no game.”

Meanwhile, Royle dismissed speculation that he is planning a pre-season swoop for Wrexham player Carlos Edwards.

The left-sided Trinidad and Tobago international was recently the subject of a failed bid by Preston.

Royle said: “We know the player and we have been aware of him for some time but there is no priority in that area of the team.

“We have Chris Makin looking good for a comeback, which will be like signing a new player, and we also have Matt Richards who can do a good job in that area going forward.”

Before he headed for Portugal the Town boss was planning to speak to players and their agents to ascertain whether they will be accepting the club's offers of new contracts.

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