Football: Royle ready for Maine Road challenge

JOE ROYLE took on one of football's most thankless jobs yesterday, as Manchester City's fifth manager in two years following the sacking of Frank Clark.

"The place is awesome, and people keep telling me that one day someone will get it right," Royle said. "I want that to be me. Everyone says the potential is fantastic - if you do get it right here, you have lift-off. You get 28,000 plus at every game. People turning up to see a team that has been struggling for four or five years."

Royle, a stalwart centre-forward for City in the 1970s, said he is looking forward to helping the club avoid relegation to the Second Division.

Royle said: "I am used to this. When I went to Everton they had just eight points and they ended up with 50. I am used to coming in as a firefighter to put things right. Let's face it, City now have a 15-game season to save themselves from the drop and I intend to make sure that is achieved. Everything else can wait until that has been achieved."

Royle, who turned the job down when he was at Oldham in 1990, played in the same City side as the current reserve team coach, Asa Hartford, while another former team-mate, the new City director, Dennis Tueart, was instrumental in his appointment. Royle, who will sign a three-year contract, will work closely with Tueart.

It was to the Seventies side that Royle looked for inspiration yesterday, saying: "It mustn't be forgotten that when myself, Asa and Dennis played in this team it was the top club in the city."

"Now, the place is full of internationals but we find ourselves looking up the table at supposedly smaller teams like Crewe and Bury. I haven't asked the chairman about money yet, or whether there are millions to spend. I doubt there is any money.

"That is not the issue at the moment. This is a massive club and it should not be where it is.

"I will know more in seven days when we have played three hard games. I will assess the situation, look at the players, and then go to the chairman with my ideas." Royle will also try to bring in his former No 2 at Everton and Oldham, Willie Donachie, as coach, bringing back to City another member of the 70s City side. "My first job is to get the chairman to get in touch with Mike McDonald at Sheffield United to try to get Willie Donachie released to join me," Royle said.

Royle described the players who have let City down this season as underachievers. "I have seen City two or three times this season," he said. "My feelings are mixed - I saw them win at Forest when they were excellent. But I have seen them on days when they have not been so good. That sums them up: they are underachievers, they have been inconsistent. More consistently bad than consistently good.

"That's not having a go at anyone who has been here. I have got a lot of admiration and affection for Frank Clark. It's unfortunate. I am not having a go at anyone, I just have to cope with these next 15 games."

Royle has been out of work for 11 months, and said: "I've had a rest following what happened at Everton, and initially I have enjoyed the rest. It was my first break from football for 30 years, I've been away on holiday, got to know the wife again, but I have started wanting to be back in the game."

Clark was upset by the method of his departure. "I feel disappointed for myself, my staff and the supporters for the way it has happened," he said. His back-room team of Alan Hill, Richard Money and Peter Edwards have also been sacked. "But the club has done what it sees fit. I don't want to make any excuses. It has been a very difficult season, no two ways about it. It's a massive job for someone but it will take a long, long time to get it right."

News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features playground gun massacre
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations should be regarded as an offensive act
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
News
people
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Supply teaching - A great w...

Training Programme Manager (Learning and Development)-London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices