Arrival of 'old-fashioned' striker
NEW Ipswich Town signing Alan Lee last night confirmed his position as an 'old-fashioned' striker.The 27-year-old, who passed a medical and completed the formalities of his £100,000 transfer from fellow Championship side Cardiff yesterday, said: “I am not a 25-goal a season predator.
By Elvin King
NEW Ipswich Town signing Alan Lee last night confirmed his position as an 'old-fashioned' striker.
The 27-year-old, who passed a medical and completed the formalities of his £100,000 transfer from fellow Championship side Cardiff yesterday, said: “I am not a 25-goal a season predator. But I will put myself about and get around the pitch. I am an old-fashioned type of centre forward, and one of the aspects I hope to bring to the team is to cause trouble for opposing defenders. Every game I will give my all, and if I can help others score I will be doing my job.”
Lee scored 39 goals in 112 appearances for Rotherham before joining Cardiff for £850,000 in August, 2003. This proves that the Republic of Ireland international knows the way to goal, although he admits his time at Cardiff did not go as well as he hoped.
“I had my difficulties at Cardiff and things did not fire,” added Lee. “But I did not get a run of games and was unable to benefit from playing regularly.
“Chances were few and far between last season when Cardiff were struggling and I am sure moving to Ipswich will give my career a lift.”
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Lee is expected to make his debut against Sheffield United at Portman Road on Saturday, and he will wear the No. 32 shirt that was vacated by Shefki Kuqi at the end of last season.
“It is a new challenge for me, and I can't wait to get started,” added Lee.
“Manager Joe Royle did not have to sell Ipswich to me. I knew about the playing side, and I knew from friend Gary Croft that Ipswich are a good club. But I did not realise how big it was business-wise. And the training facilities are fantastic - at Cardiff we trained at the local athletics stadium.
“This is a step up and I can't wait to do what I can to lift Ipswich up the Championship table.”
There is a proviso in his Town contract that it can be extended by a further year - and for the fee to rise by £50,000 if certain contingencies are met.
Lee was denied a late equalising goal by Lewis Price's save when he came on as a late substitute for Cardiff in the opening game of this season at Portman Road.
Ipswich won 1-0, and Lee said: “I was cursing Lewis at the time, but now I think it was a wonderful save!”
Royle is delighted to get his man. He said: “This is a big step forward for us. We are defending better these days and have a full compliment of midfield players.
“Alan will give us a physical presence up front, and he is an international player.
“Nicky Forster and Sam Parkin will look forward to playing with him, and if we can start hitting the back of the net we can move up the Championship table.
“Alan has always done well against us, although his time at Cardiff has not gone as well as he would have liked.
“Like Shefki Kuqi we plan to kick-start his career. He does not have the same pace, but Alan can run all day like the Finn.”
n Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle has told 33-year-old midfielder Kevin Horlock that he can leave Portman Road.
The midfielder, who has been promoted three times to the Premiership, has been given permission to talk to other clubs with a view to moving during the transfer window.
Royle said: “With the signing of Gavin Williams and Vemund Skard and the emergence of Owen Garvan and Jimmy Juan we are well stocked with midfielders.
“Kevin is being given the chance to seek another club, but if he is still here when the window closes he will continue to be in my first-team plans.”
Horlock was signed on a free from West Ham in the summer of 2004 and has made 52 appearances - and is still searching for his first Town goal.