Royle: Town can beat Bolton

JOE Royle believes his Ipswich Town side can dump Premiership Bolton out of the FA Cup.The Tractor Boys have been handed a home third round tie with the Trotters, with the game set to be played at Portman Road on Saturday, January 8 unless television intervenes.

JOE Royle believes his Ipswich Town side can dump Premiership Bolton out of the FA Cup.

The Tractor Boys have been handed a home third round tie with the Trotters, with the game set to be played at Portman Road on Saturday, January 8 unless television intervenes.

“We are strong at home and have yet to be beaten on our own pitch this season,” said Blues boss Royle today. “This gives us a great chance of going through to the fourth round.

“You have no control over cup draws and it is no good saying you would rather have this team or that. What is important for us is to be at home and we have every chance.”

Royle has every respect for Bolton boss Sam Allardyce and the team he has turned into one of the most consistent in the top flight.

“Bolton are a model for teams going up to the Premiership,” added Royle. “They have not spent big money but have signed wisely and assembled a good squad.

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“They have worked very hard at establishing themselves - and it has paid off.

“It would be nice to have some of the problems that Sam has faced over the last couple of years myself next season.”

Royle confirmed that he will be fielding his strongest side in the cup tie and that financially it represents a good draw for his Championship promotion-chasers.

Royle said: “We will hopefully have a full house and with our fans cheering us on it can be an extra man,”

“There is a bit of history between the two clubs going back to the First Division play-off semi-final in May 2000, but that is over now and it will be down to the best footballing team on the day.

“Make no mistake if Bolton field their strongest side they will be a severe test. They are a good team.”

Town players trained this afternoon after their 2-2 Coca-Cola Championship draw at Crewe on Saturday.

Full back Fabian Wilnis, who had a splendid game at Crewe, has a fractured finger but the injury will not keep him out of the side for Saturday's match at Queens Park Rangers.

Wigan's 5-0 victory over Preston saw them regain top spot in the Championship and Royle believes the clash with sixth placed QPR is his side's most important game so far.

Royle is looking upon the game at Loftus Road as one of the most crucial so far. He said: “Apart from at Sunderland we have not been well beaten this season.

“We could have been 3-1 up against Derby County and lost, and I still don't know how we came to lose at Stoke.

“We are doing OK, but we are not getting enough wins, with three so far on our travels.

“We need to impose ourselves more, starting with the game at QPR.

“I cannot see Wigan slipping up at home this weekend, so we need three points to put us in a position where we can overtake Paul Jewell's side when we meet at Portman Road in a fortnight's time.

“We are close to getting it right away from Portman Road, but there is still more to come.”

Royle revealed that Scotland assistant manager Tommy Burns had asked about Tommy Miller's availability for tomorrow's B international clash with Germany in Mannheim.

Royle said: “Tommy is not 100 per cent fit as he is still getting over his elbow injury, and I told Tommy Burns that he is not quite ready.

“But Walter Smith the new Scotland manager and Tommy Burns have confirmed that Miller will be considered for the next match and that he is part of their plans.”

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