Joe: Crosses a Problem
Saturday, 13th Mar 2004 19:04
Town boss Joe Royle was again left bemoaning his defence's inability to defend crosses after they were defeated 3-1 by Millwall at Portman Road.
Royle said: "The game was lost in the first half because of our inability to defend simple crosses. We went in at half-time two down and with two centre-halves off the field.
"I took heart from the second half especially from our younger players. Diallo has five stitches in a head wound while Santos is still groggy and his nose is splattered right across his face. Santos is the biggest doubt of the two for Tuesday's match at Walsall.
"Millwall won the match without actually doing too much."
Royle was pleased with Dean Bowditch's display after coming on as a sub at half-time: "I was delighted with his performance but the question remains whether he is strong enough to start."
Despite Town disappointing form, Royle isn't completely ruling out an end of season surge: "I've seen late runs so you can never say never. At the start of the season automatic promotion was our aim.
"I despise the play-offs because I think that the third-placed club should go up. But if we make the play-offs this season, of course I'll take it."
Millwall boss Dennis Wise was inevitably pleased with the scoreline: "It was a great result. The lads set out their stall and did exactly as I asked of them, they know we have a chance of the play-offs.
"When I ask them to focus on the league they do it, when I ask them to focus on the FA Cup they do that too. They work extremely hard for each other.
"We were the better side on the day and deserved to win. We scored three good goals and after that we stood strong.
"I had left Neil Harris out. I had a talk with him and he is a very understanding young man. He had been suffering from a virus and sometimes it takes longer than expected to come back. He came back today looking very sharp. That's the Neil Harris I want.
"We are all in this together. If we succeed, we succeed together but if we fail we fail together. If that's the case it won't be for want of having a good old go.”
Striker Mark McCammon went off on a stretcher but Wise said he was OK: "McCammon took a whack on the head and a whack on the lip. He's a strong lad and was in the dressing room at the end to congratulate the lads."
Despite Kelvin Davis appearing livid at the disputed third goal, Wise says the keeper's lack of complaint showed that the ball had crossed the line: "Neil Harris and Tim Cahill said it was a goal and I'll take their word for it. There were no complaints from the goalkeeper. The disputes came from Ipswich players some 50 yards away who could not really see."
Photo: Action Images
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