Royle: Show you're the real deal

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today challenged his players: “Prove you're the real deal!”The Town supremo saw his side climb to the top of the Championship tree on Tuesday, when they defeated Wigan and also deposed them as leaders.

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today challenged his players: “Prove you're the real deal!”

The Town supremo saw his side climb to the top of the Championship tree on Tuesday, when they defeated Wigan and also deposed them as leaders.

Royle said: “You could say we've done the easier part in getting there - clearly the hard part is to stay there over the remaining 22 games.”

Ipswich are in pole position for the third time in the current campaign and on the previous two occasions they occupied the number one berth their reign was all too brief.


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After a well-earned day off yesterday, Royle and assistant Willie Donachie were today preparing their squad for a busy Christmas and New Year programme comprising four games in the space of just eight days.

“The challenge now,” said Royle, “is for the players to show they are the real deal and continue their amazing feat of leading the Championship going into the second half of the season. They know they are there to be shot at.

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“There is an extra incentive for all our future opponents - to beat the leaders - but that's what comes with being on top and we will have to cope with it.” His team's hectic schedule means Royle will juggle his resources. He promises to tinker with his squad to counter any problems that may arise.

He added: “I can't expect them all to play all the games, especially at the high tempo we tend to play.

“The games are coming thick and fast, so I would expect to rest players along the way. That is particularly the case in midfield.

“Signing young Daniel Karbassiyoon on loan from Arsenal gives us extra options in that area and at the back.

“The kid has given up his Christmas for us, so he will definitely feature at some stage.”

Karbassiyoon was an unused substitute on Tuesday, just hours after abandoning plans to jet home to the USA for a brief holiday with his family in favour of a temporary switch to Portman Road.

The 20-year-old from Virginia can expect to make his Football League debut in the next few days.

Ipswich follow their Boxing Day trip to Millwall with home games against Stoke and West Ham, before the clash at Plymouth on January 3.

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