Watch out for Rivers, says Royle

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today pinpointed former Town trialist Mark Rivers as the danger man at Crewe on Saturday.“He will definitely be looking to prove a point,” said Royle, whose assistant Willie Donachie was at the Railwaymen's 2-1 home win over Millwall last night.

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today pinpointed former Town trialist Mark Rivers as the danger man at Crewe on Saturday.

“He will definitely be looking to prove a point,” said Royle, whose assistant Willie Donachie was at the Railwaymen's 2-1 home win over Millwall last night.

The 29-year-old Rivers was a target for Town after his release by Norwich last summer and featured in three pre-season games.

He was in action as Ipswich launched their warm-up schedule at Peterborough and then took part in both games during the club's Danish tour.

But Royle decided against offering him a permanent deal and he instead returned to his first club Crewe, where he has been in fine form.

Rivers, who can operate as a wide midfielder or up front, has scored six goals from 22 appearances, seven of which have been as a substitute.

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Royle added: “When I invited Mark to come in for a trial I was looking for an extra midfielder. He did OK, but I just didn't feel at that stage that it would have been the right move for us.

“He's a nice lad and I did also have it in my mind that it might be difficult for him, being a former Norwich player.

“Although that wasn't my main consideration, I wondered if he might have to come in and be a storming success to be accepted. Sometimes it can be hard for players in those circumstances.

“But Mark has been doing well for Crewe this season and I imagine he will be keen to show us what we have been missing.”

Royle is fully aware of the threat posed by Dario Gradi's in-form team, who have won four of their last five league games.

He added: “Willie confirmed that Crewe deserved to win against Millwall. They have good forwards in Dean Ashton and Steve Jones.

“They are going well at the moment and they like nothing more than to take on the bigger clubs in this division.

“It will be a tricky game for us. Crewe do extremely well for the size of the club and the crowds they attract - and they love claiming the big scalps.”

Meanwhile, Royle has confirmed he has “two or three” loan targets in mind as he considers bringing in reinforcements before the busy Christmas and New Year programme.

As long as Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan sticks to his guns and insists Shaun Derry will only move on a permanent transfer, he will not be coming to Portman Road.

Royle said: “If Palace changed their mind I would still be interested. But Mr Jordan owns the club and is entitled to do and say exactly what he wants.

“I have two or three different kinds of players in mind. Because of the versatility within my squad, I can't say if I would definitely want to bring in a wide or a central midfielder.

“Both Ian Westlake and Tommy Miller can play both roles, so it would depend on our exact needs at the time as to who, if anyone, we would try to bring in on loan.”

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