Armstrong's 'come and get me' plea

I'M a hat-trick hero, get me out of here.Alun Armstrong may have banged in three for the Town reserves in midweek but he knows he has no future at Ipswich and sees Blues boss George Burley's Derby as an ideal new home.

I'M a hat-trick hero, get me out of here.

Alun Armstrong may have banged in three for the Town reserves in midweek but he knows he has no future at Ipswich and sees Blues boss George Burley's Derby as an ideal new home, writes Derek Davis.

Burley was known to be keen to sign Armstrong again after initially buying him for Town from Middlesbrough for £800,000 in December 2000.

He asked about taking the 28-year-old on loan but Armstrong was injured and when he recovered he turned the offer down as he wants a longer deal, something he still hankers after.

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Armstrong said: "I'm not really looking for a loan, I want something more permanent but I have to look at what options there are.

"First and foremost I want to play here at Ipswich but if I'm honest it doesn't look as if I feature in the Gaffer's plans.

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"I thought I had done well when I came in but then he brought Shefki in and I have not played since and that tells its own story.

"I have not even featured when I have been on the bench which is a bit odd. The last time I came on was at Sunderland but I just have to get on with it."

Armstrong, whose contract expires at the end of this season, is still on the free transfer list and while he is reluctant to leave Portman Raod he knows he has little choice.

He said: "I won't cost anything but if anyone is interested I'm ready and available to move because I have to be honest and know I don't have a future here. I would like it to be here but it looks as if I will have to go and I have to look after myself."

Armstrong would relish a move to a First Division club, with Burley and Derby the ideal choice.

He said: "George looked after me when he was here. He took a bit gamble on me, taking me when I was struggling with injury at Middlesbrough. Then I did quite well at first but picked up injuries again. But I can honestly say this is the best I have ever felt."

After working tirelessly during the summer to reach peak fitness, Armstrong is no longer hampered by the back problems which caused him so many setbacks in the past and is looking lean and sharp when he does play.

He has netted two goals in his five first-team starts this season and feels fresh for the remainder of the season.

He said: "I just want to be able to enjoy my football somewhere.

"I have not played that many games so I'm good and fresh. Like I say, I don't really want to move but I have to consider my family and I want to be playing."

Armstrong highlighted his ability, fitness and sharpness with a hat-trick on Wednesday, completed in stunning style with a 30-yard belter.

He said: "Everything was going well for me so I had a pop and it flew in.

"It was good to get 90 minutes and three goals after getting a kick in a calf last week."

n Town fans travelling to Derby tomorrow are reminded that the A14 will be closed both ways near Milton, Cambridge from 9.15pm tonight until late Sunday night. They will be diverted onto the A11 from the A14 and are advised to find an alternative route and allow extra time to get to Derby.

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