Squad will be best yet - Donachie

IPSWICH Town assistant manager Willie Donachie says that his job just gets better and better.And he sees the current squad developing into the most successful since he arrived at Portman Road with manager Joe Royle in October 2002.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town assistant manager Willie Donachie says that his job just gets better and better.

And he sees the current squad developing into the most successful since he arrived at Portman Road with manager Joe Royle in October 2002.

Refusing to be daunted by Saturday's 1-0 Championship defeat at Wolves and increased injury problems, Royle's

trusted right-hand man is relishing his duties with Town.

After Ipswich had lost in the league for the first time this year - and the first in nine games - Donachie said: “We have to be men and take that on the chin.

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“Over the last 11 months since our last visit to Molineux we have made massive strides.

“This side will develop into the best since Joe and I arrived at Ipswich.”

And that is saying something after the pair constructed - with little financial support - two teams that reached the play-offs in 2004 and 2005.

Donachie slated the players after a well-deserved defeat at Wolves last spring when there were still strong hopes of automatic promotion.

Since then the heart of the team has departed and Royle and Donachie have built their second side this season - their fourth in total since taking over from George Burley.

The current one bears no recognition to the side that was so ineffective in the bleak autumn months and with fit strikers they would surely have won at the weekend.

“We have some exceptionally talented youngsters at the club,” enthused Donachie.

“They are a delight to work with and a major factor in my optimism is that they are all have exceptional characters.

“They also all want to learn. We were fantastic on Saturday with every player wanting to play and it just needed an Alan Lee or Ricardo Fuller up front.”

While Fuller was denied his Town debut because of red tape, Jimmy Juan missed out with a groin injury that is likely to keep him out for three weeks.

And Jaime Peters is having a scan today after taking a heavy knee knock soon after coming on as a second half substitute. Scott Barron took a kick on the calf, but this is not thought serious.

With Gavin Williams struggling with a knee problem and Sam Parkin having a setback, Ipswich are getting down to the bare bones.

Royle said: “The referee was an embarrassment and we were on the wrong end of a Jobsworth decision over Ricardo (Fuller).

“Our display was reminiscent of before Alan (Lee) came with plenty of possession but no cutting edge.

“We were on the wrong end of some pretty bad tackles, but I only felt in danger from free-kicks and corners.

“Nobody runs away from Sito and there was no need for him to make a tackle that led to the penalty.

“Every time he makes a mistake it seems to end up with a goal.”

Town's next game is at home to Leicester on Saturday.

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