I don’t want to be a sub, says Ipswich Town new boy Bartosz Bialkowski

Bartosz Bialkowski makes a save against West Ham on Wednesday night. PHOTO: Steve Waller

Bartosz Bialkowski makes a save against West Ham on Wednesday night. PHOTO: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town new boy Bartosz Bialkowski insists he doesn’t just want to sit on the bench.

The 27-year-old was signed on a free transfer from Notts County last week having played a starring role in their ‘great escape’ in League One last season.

Blues boss Mick McCarthy insists that Dean Gerken very much remains his number one, but has told Bialkowski that he could break into the starting XI just as Gerken displaced Scott Loach from the side in the early stages of last season.

“Everyone wants to play and I’m no different,” said Bialkowski, who played the second half of Town’s pre-season goalless home draw with West Ham on Wednesday night.

“I sat on the bench too many times for Southampton earlier in my career and I don’t want to be in that situation again. I’m coming into my best years as a goalkeeper. I’ll just do my best to impress the gaffer by working hard.”

Bialkowski has been a long-term target of Town’s, with keeper coach Malcolm Webster having worked with the Pole at both Hearts and Southampton. Indeed, his short-term loan switch to Portman Road in 2009 nearly became permanent.

“I was here for the last two or three months of that season,” he said. “Even though I didn’t play, I enjoyed the training sessions. Jim Magilton signed me and after that Roy Keane took over and I think he was trying to sign me but Southampton said no.

“I played against Ipswich in a pre-season friendly last summer (for Notts County) and spoke to Mally (Webster) then. He said to me that they were going to watch me during the season and I was trying to do my best to impress Ipswich and their staff.

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“Mally is a great person and a fantastic goalkeeping coach – one of the best, if not the best, I have worked with.”

He continued: “Last season was a crazy one, we were down the bottom for such a long time but managed to get out on the last day. That was something special.

“I’ve been quite busy in the last two seasons, but that has probably made me a better player and was part of the reason I’ve come here because I was able to show my abilities.

“Playing for Poland has always been my dream. That’s why I took a step backwards to go to Notts County so I could get back to playing every week. Now I want to move forwards again and I’m still dreaming about playing for Poland. That’s my goal.”

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