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Ipswich role for Royle

UEFA Cup hopefuls Ipswich Town FC have appointed Joe Royle as their new manager.

English first division club Ipswich Town FC have appointed Joe Royle as their new manager following the sacking of George Burley earlier this month.

Cup winner
Royle, a former England striker, has been out of football since the end of the 2000/01 season when his Manchester City FC side were relegated from the Premiership. After a successful playing career, particularly with Everton FC, he initially made his managerial name with Oldham Athletic FC. The 53-year-old then spent two-and-a-half years in charge of Everton during the mid-1990s and helped them win the FA Cup in 1995.

'Great foundations'
Royle, whose first match in charge is against FK Slovan Liberec in the UEFA Cup on Thursday, said: "Since I left Manchester City I've had other offers. But it had to be right for me, and Ipswich Town is right for me. There are great foundations here including a good base of players for me to work with. I'm going into it with my eyes open and am looking forward to the challenge. I'm joining an ambitious club that has so much going for it."

UEFA Cup test
Winners in 1981, Ipswich welcome Czech champions Slovan to Portman Road for the first leg of their UEFA Cup second-round tie. Despite relegation from the Premiership last spring, they were drawn to enter the UEFA Cup by winning a place through UEFA's Fair Play rankings.

Poor start
Royle's predecessor, Burley, was dismissed after Ipswich made a poor start to the new season following last season's relegation. Club coach Tony Mowbray has been acting as caretaker manager of the Suffolk club who are 15th in the first division.