'Disappointed' by Wright rejection

ALTHOUGH Richard Wright has chosen the lure of the Premiership and the lucre of West Ham instead of a promotion challenge with Ipswich Town, it doesn't mean the Blues will necessarily chase another veteran keeper, writes Derek Davis.

By Derek Davis

ALTHOUGH Richard Wright has chosen the lure of the Premiership and the lucre of West Ham instead of a promotion challenge with Ipswich Town, it doesn't mean the Blues will necessarily chase another veteran keeper, writes Derek Davis.

Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks believes the club will be well served by Lewis Price and Shane Supple, who are getting better all the time, rather than someone who is not totally committed to the cause.

He said: “We are disappointed Richard chose not to join us but recognise that extra money for sitting on the bench at Upton Park must be more appealing than the opportunity to feature regularly for your home town team.


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“There has been a consideration to bring in a senior goalkeeper but we are very fortunate to have two of the brightest young keepers in the country on our staff already.”

Hammers boss Alan Curbishley hopes Wright will put pressure on No. 1 Robert Green, the former Norwich keeper who is now a regular in the England squad.

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Wright, 29, left Everton at the end of last season after being squeezed out of the picture following a series of injuries and the arrival at Goodison Park of Tim Howard.

With Roy Carroll seemingly on his way out of the club, Curbishley signed Wright to compete with current first-choice Green.

He said: “I'm delighted Richard has signed. He is exactly the sort of player I like - dedicated, hungry and also a little a bit angry after what has happened to him in the last couple of years.

“He has great experience but, at 29, is still young in goalkeeping terms and hopefully has his best years in front of him.”

Seven years ago, Wright was regarded as the brightest goalkeeping prospect in the country.

He was a member of England's Euro 2000 squad and won two international caps, against Malta and Holland.

After helping Ipswich to the Premiership in 2000, then to a fifth place finish and a UEFA Cup spot, he moved to Arsenal but spent just one season at Highbury before an ill-fated move to Everton.

Wright made only 71 appearances in five years at Goodison Park and started just twice last season, against Peterborough in the Carling Cup and Manchester United in the league at Old Trafford.

But Curbishley added: “I've got no doubts about his ability, and he is the perfect player to come in and put pressure on the other goalkeepers at the club.

“I'm sure he will enjoy his time here and we welcome the competition that he will provide.”

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