Royle's warning: Don't let it slip

IPSWICH Town's shooting stars were today brought back down to earth bymanager Joe Royle.The Blues – sixth in the First Division table after an amazing run – headed north for tomorrow's game at Preston with Roylestressing that he would not hesitate to return to the loan market should Town be hit by a slump in form or new injury problems.

By Dave Allard

IPSWICH Town's shooting stars were today brought back down to earth by

manager Joe Royle.

The Blues – sixth in the First Division table after an amazing run – headed north for tomorrow's game at Preston with Royle


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stressing that he would not hesitate to return to the loan market should Town be hit by a slump in form or new injury problems.

"We've got a contingency list for all positions. We know who we can go for if necessary," he said.

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Town have won their last five Nationwide League First Division games as part of a sequence that has seen them leap from rock

bottom to the play-off zone.

The Blues seek another good result at Deepdale that should guarantee Royle the October

manager of the month award.

The Town team will be unchanged from that which won

4-3 at Crystal Palace in midweek.

Nineteen-year-old Ian Westlake continues on the left of midfield in place of injured loanee Alan Mahon.

Royle said: "We've had a

terrific run and the celebrations after the Palace win were unbelievable, but we have to keep our feet on the ground and maintain our standards.

"I was delighted to see West Ham and Forest draw the other night. Other clubs are taking points off each other. By realistically it's down to what we do. If you don't keep standards high then a good run can turn into a poor one.

"My squad deserve to have moved up the table as they have because they've worked so hard. I'm confident that we can keep it going. But no place is guaranteed. We're not far off the top, but at the start of the season I expected us to be top at this stage. There is still much work to be done.

"No place is guaranteed and form must be maintained. We've already made loan signings and we can make more. If players know that it helps to keep them on their toes."

Preston are just below mid-table, having lost their last two games.

Manager Craig Brown is well known to Royle who said: "He did a good job when manager of Scotland and is a great coach.

"Preston are one of the best teams in the division. Overall they are playing well. Before a couple of setbacks they'd enjoyed a good run."

The Ipswich party left Portman Road at 10 o'clock this morning for Lancashire. Their plan was to have an afternoon training session at Bolton Wanderers training ground before completing the journey to Preston.

THE SQUADS

PRESTON: Gould, Lucketti, Jackson, Broomes, Alexander, McKenna, O'Neil, Keane, Lewis, Fuller, Cresswell, Lonergan, Etuhu, Healy, Cartwright, Edwards, Davis.

IPSWICH: Davis, Wilnis, Richards, Naylor, Santos, Wright, Bart-Williams, Miller, Magilton, Westlake, Kuqi, Counago, Bloomfield, Nash, Armstrong, Price.

Referee: Dermot Gallagher (Banbury).

n….MARTIJN Reuser, Town's Dutch international who has been out long term with a groin injury, is expected to make a comeback for the reserves at Watford next Wednesday.

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