Town fans give Royle approval

THREE generations of Ipswich Town fans took in the win over Walsall and left with the same opinion – that Joe Royle is still very much the man to revive the club's fortunes.

THREE generations of Ipswich Town fans took in the win over Walsall and left with the same opinion – that Joe Royle is still very much the man to revive the club's fortunes.

Juliette Pearson, 38, of Meadowvale Close said last night's performance had convinced her that the playing and management staff at Portman Road could not be bettered at this present point.

She said: "There was more commitment and passion on show and I thought the new players fitted in very well.

"Alan Mahon looked good and Chris-Bart Williams gave a solid midfield performance and when he finds his niche in midfield he could become a very good player.

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"I thought the crowd was excellent and the North Stand really played their part in lifting the team in the second half and I was very pleased for Darren Bent to score that goal."

Mrs Pearson added that she had faith in boss Joe Royle and dismissed calls for a new manager to come in at such an early stage in the season.

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She said: "No way should he go. He is the ideal man for the job and has done so well considering he has his hands tied financially. He can consolidate the team this season. I'm not sure about promotion, but I am sure he will get us moving up the table.

"As for the chairman, well I think his future is more difficult and he's not respecting us fans. He asked us to buy season tickets and 19,000 people did and then he sold players.

"The fans can't really do any more at the club – they turn up, buy the shirts and programmes and support the team."

Juliette's mother, Maureen Webb, who is in her sixties, said: "I've been watching Ipswich since the 1950s and I've seen plenty of ups and downs in that time. There really is no need to panic especially where Joe Royle is concerned.

"He has the proven track record at other clubs and he can make the club stable. I think last season we had better players but the confidence came back tonight and if the manager can keep it going we will soon pick up points."

Maureen's grandson Matthias, 13, said: "I think Ipswich played well and deserved their win. The players at the club are good but it's a shame that so many good ones have been sold. I thought Alun Armstrong did really well tonight and he still has a big future at the club."

Other fans at Portman Road were encouraged by the fight and drive shown by Ipswich.

Joe Ward, 38, of Belstead Road, Ipswich said: "I thought the team played well and deserved the win.

"It has been a poor start but I feel confident the team will turn things around. I have every confidence in the manager – it's a marathon not a sprint after all."

James Harrington, 33, a Town fan who had travelled up from London said: "It was a better performance by the team but things are still not right. I think it was naïve of the people to think we'd sail to the top of the league with the number of quality players we've had to sell.

"There's been a lot of changes and the team needs time to gel. Honestly, though, I think the squad is strong enough."

James Thomas, 46, of Foxhall Road, Ipswich, said: "I think the players need to take more responsibility for the defeats and not the manager and board.

"The club has made bad decisions financially but changing the board will not make a difference unless someone has millions of pounds to invest."

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