Football: Clark talks double Dutch

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The Independent Online
Ipswich Town . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Nottingham Forest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

IF Bryan Roy learns to understand his manager he could create untold havoc this season.

'He could have had two or three goals if he'd taken up the positions I asked him to,' Forest manager, Frank Clark said of his pounds 2.2m Dutch signing. 'He told me he didn't know what I wanted, but I think that's my English, not his. He's not as fit as the other players yet but it'll get better.'

There was an element of mischief in Clark's assessment because Roy had been the most pleasing player on view for the 65 minutes he was on the pitch. Intermittent misunderstandings were to be expected but the frail-looking Dutchman was always articulate where it mattered most.

He held the ball well, looked for the unusual pass and probably benefited from the knowledge that under the new regulations he was likely to be protected from over- zealous challenges. It seems obvious that a combination of Roy and Stan Collymore will find great Premiership reward. Not that Clark was being drawn on that one.

'Stan's unfit. His ankle is sore. He's not likely to be ready for a while yet and we've just got to get on without him.'

There was a lack of quality apart from Roy, who rounded off his performance with the only goal four minutes from the interval when he left two defenders lurching like drunks and chipped the goalkeeper from 20 yards.

Ipswich were much bolder than they had been in the tortuous final weeks of last season, which was not difficult, but having exposed the deficiencies through the Forest central midfield and defence they tended to seize up. It did not augur well.

Both defences acknowledged that they had been wary of tackling too fiercely, if at all. Clark felt this helped the game to flow more but, particularly after Roy's substitution, it was often flowing nowhere.

Goal: Roy (41) 0-1

Ipswich (4-4-2): Forest; Stockwell, Wark, Youds, Yallop; Milton, Williams, Mason, Slater; Marshall, Kiwomya (Genchev, 76). Substitutes not used: Baker (gk), Palmer.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Crossley; Lyttle, Chettle, Cooper, Pearce; Woan, Gemmill, Stone (Bohinen, 80), Phillips; Lee, Roy (Rosario, 66). Substitute not used: Rigby (gk).

Referee: S Lodge (Barnsley).