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Royle: Pride is at stake

PUBLISHED: 14:16 25 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:46 03 March 2010

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle insists there will be no experimenting tomorrow.

Royle will pick his strongest side against a Wimbledon team that has never beaten Town in a league fixture.

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle insists there will be no experimenting tomorrow.

Royle will pick his strongest side against a Wimbledon team that has never beaten Town in a league fixture.

"There is still a chance of reaching the play-offs and we must make sure that we win our remaining two matches," said Royle.

"There is also pride at stake, and we want to leave our fans with a good impression with next season in mind.

"We want to finish as high in the table as we can and entertain in front of what I hope will be a big crowd."

Tommy Miller is a major doubt, although striker Darren Bent comes back into the squad. Miller suffered a sore calf playing at Rotherham in a 2-1 defeat on Easter Monday.

"Tommy did not train easily yesterday," said Royle. "He is important to us and will be missed.

"Wimbledon love spoiling parties and it will be a bit of a party tomorrow. They have a young athletic side and manager Stuart Murdoch has done very well with a nil budget.

"They deserve the respect they will get from us and I am sure they will play good football and pass the ball about."

Ipswich finish their season with a game at Derby County on Sunday May 4, with the proposed move to a six-strong play-off looking as though it will come a season too late.

It could be the last game at Portman Road for a number of Town players if the financial restrictions continue to bite for a club that is hoping to come out of administration next month.

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest, needing just one win to secure the final play-off place, go into their final home game with Millwall knowing that if Ipswich fail to beat Wimbledon they will finish in the top six.

Forest received a boost this week with news that striker Jack Lester has told the club he wants to stay at the City Ground.

The 27-year-old striker has found himself on the fringes of Forest's promotion push since Christmas and is facing an uncertain future with his contract due to expire this summer.

Reading, all but guaranteed a place in the First Division play-offs for the first time since 1995, will be going all out for a win in their final home game with Grimsby.

The Royals are six points ahead of Ipswich and need only one point from their final three games to make absolutely certain of a top-six finish.


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