Fighting Irish

RECENT displays from Ipswich Town have shown all the earmarks of the famous Fighting Irish but republic of Ireland international Alan Lee believes it is not just the boys from the Emerald Isle that are providing the spirit.

By Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

RECENT displays from Ipswich Town have shown all the earmarks of the famous Fighting Irish but republic of Ireland international Alan Lee believes it is not just the boys from the Emerald Isle that are providing the spirit.

Ulsterman Jim Magilton has added Simon Walton, Alex Bruce, Jon Macken, who all have Irish caps, to the existing Irishmen that includes Billy Clarke, Shane Supple, Chris Casement and Owen Garvan, while Michael Synnott is following closely behind and Magilton is taking a good look at former port vale winger George O'Callaghan who is over from Cork City.


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Lee said: “It is quite bizarre just how many Irish people we have here now but I would not put the spirit down completely to the Irish.

“We have a lot of tough players who are good players and I would put the attitude and approach down to the training.

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“We are coming together well and the spirit in the dressing room is coming along at the same time.

“As a band of lads we are very together. There are no cliques. Rather we all seem to have the same outlook and attitude.

“Although we have had a few new lads many knew each other from before and it has been very easy to gel.

“We are all team-mates and we all look after each other. The team has changed and moved on, which could explain why we didn't start so well but we are all knitting together now.”

Lee is trying to forge a partnership with fellow Irish international striker Macken and feels the duo have been playing their part but is now looking for some rewards of their own.

He said: “I was particularly happy with my game at QPR and again on Tuesday and felt fully fit.

“I have set up a few people for goals so I want people to set me up for goals. If I get the chances I will score the goals.”

Having been a teammate of rising star Cameron Jerome who signed for Birmingham in the summer for an initial £3, from Cardiff and now plays alongside Billy Clarke, Lee is in a unique position to compare the duo.

He said: “Cameron is a very good player but has a lot of raw talent. You can't really compare Billy and Cameron - they are poles apart. Billy is a very skilful and clever player while Cameron is much more raw.”

As a former Aston Villa player Lee also knows a bit about Birmingham City, although was always a cut above.

He said: “They are a good side who have had a good start but I would not say they were much better than us. We can go there under no pressure and enjoy ourselves.

“When I was at Villa Birmingham were down a division so I never got experience the rivalry.”

Lee will be looking for some more of Town's Fighting Irish spirit at St Andrews today and joked: “With the amount of Irish lads we have here now, perhaps we should change the strip to green.” At least, I think he was joking.

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