Willie issues warning

WILLIE Donachie, Joe Royle's right-hand man at Portman Road, today issued a stern message to the Ipswich Town board.“The days of fielding understrength sides must be over,” said Donachie.

By Elvin King

WILLIE Donachie, Joe Royle's right-hand man at Portman Road, today issued a stern message to the Ipswich Town board.

“The days of fielding understrength sides must be over,” said Donachie.

“It is just not good enough for a club the size of Ipswich Town.”


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Donachie's frustrations continued right to the final game of the season and a tepid 2-1 defeat at Plymouth Argyle on Sunday.

“There were five players on the park who should not have been there,” he said.

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“They should still be learning their trade in the reserves.”

Donachie continued his forthright views by adding: “Chris Casement is a great young player, but he should not be learning how to play at right back at Champion-ship level.

“He has played only a handful of matches at right back and two of them have been in the first team!

“It has all been so frustrating, and the situation needs to improve over the summer.

“I feel sorry for the players who are not ready as they have had too much on their plates.

“And I feel sorry for the experienced players, who have to 'carry' almost half the side on occasions.”

Donachie said Royle deserves help from the board to improve the squad before the players report back for training on June 26.

“We all know the financial problems we are working under,” said the assistant manager, who has worked side-by-side with Royle throughout the latter's managerial career.

“We must have at least two or three quality additions.

“Look at the midfield. We will have lost Jim Magilton, Jimmy Juan and Kevin Horlock by the start of the new season.

“They must be replaced and it is crucial that it is done before we report back.

“The board knows the score and hopefully they can come up with the wherewithal to allow Joe to field competitive teams every game. We must not have a repeat of this season.”

Donachie can see some positive signs for 2006/07. “With our top strikers fit we will be much better in that department and our youngsters will have learned from their experience this term.

“However, with good teams coming down from the Premier-ship and the three losing play-off teams likely to be strong again, we need to improve a great deal next season to make an impact.”

Royle has already confirmed that he expects to be in a position to compete for the better 'frees' and 'Bosmans' during the summer and if an intended limited share offer proves a success then there could possibly be some money on the table so the manager can add an experienced left-back and midfield player he says are a must.

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