Royle the loan arranger

IPSWICH are scanning the loan market to bolster their promotion challenge, boss Joe Royle revealed today.“There are two or three players I ask about consistently,” said Royle, mindful of the success he enjoyed with temporary reinforcements last term.

IPSWICH are scanning the loan market to bolster their promotion challenge, boss Joe Royle revealed today.

“There are two or three players I ask about consistently,” said Royle, mindful of the success he enjoyed with temporary reinforcements last term.

He added: “The players I am interested in are not available right now, but things change and I am always monitoring the situation.

“If it's not possible now, we might be able to do something later. We are always looking to improve, which is always the case in football. Even Arsenal believe they can get better.”

While Town are still in financial recovery mode, they have made funds available to the manager to spend as he sees fit.

Royle added: “There is a loan budget. It's not big, but if the right players become available we will see what we can do.

Most Read

“Last season we brought in three players on loan and it helped us to climb away from the bottom of the table, then towards the end Matt Elliott arrived to help fire us into the play-offs.

“It is obvious that the right loan signings, at the right time, could have a considerable impact on the team.”

But Royle is certainly not panicking after Tuesday's defeat at Stoke saw Town surrender top slot in the Coca-Cola Championship.

He said: “I was angry at the time, but you have to consider the bigger picture and I see no need to make changes.

“We have scored two goals away from home and lost and it's the second time this season that it has happened, but it's not a disaster.

“I'll take two goals at West Ham on Saturday - and back us to defend better than we did on those other two occasions.”

Third-placed Town have leaked ten goals in the league this season, the same number as rock-bottom Rotherham.

And only one other club in the top half of the table, Coventry, have conceded more.

But last season, when Royle's men made a disappointing start and had taken just eight points from the same number of games, they shipped a total of 12 goals in the same period.

Whatever way you look at it, therefore, despite Tuesday's lapse at Stoke, it is a case of all-round improvement - fewer goals conceded and twice as many points banked.

Town know they will slip further down the table if they lose to a West Ham side with an identical record of five wins, one draw and two defeats.

On the other hand, a repeat of last season's success at Upton Park could see them regain pole position in the Championship.

Royle is likely to be able to choose from a fully fit squad and may even opt to field an unchanged line-up for the fifth game in a row.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter