Alan Lee signs for Ipswich Town on non-contract terms

Alan Lee

Alan Lee - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy could turn to veteran striker Alan Lee in the coming weeks, after signing the former Blues star on non-contract terms.

Lee, who has also featured on loan for Town’s rivals Norwich City, will not be in the Blues’ squad at Birmingham tomorrow, but will be available to McCarthy throughout the season, combining his role as a youth team coach at the club.

The 34-year-old former Republic of Ireland international enjoyed a successful first spell at Portman Road, scoring 31 goals in 103 games between 2006 and 2008, before departing Suffolk for Crystal Palace in August 2008.

Having been released by Huddersfield in the summer, following nine goals in 80 games for the Terriers, the Galway-born hitman returned to the Blues to help work with the club’s rising stars.

McCarthy currently has David McGoldrick, Daryl Murphy, Frank Nouble and Paul Taylor at his disposal but admits Lee gives him a different dimension as he plots his way up the Championship table after a slow start.

“We have signed Alan Lee on non-contract terms and he is available to play,” said McCarthy, who has just Tyrone Mings missing for tomorrow’s trip to Birmingham.

“He won’t be in the squad for Birmingham but he has trained with us and is still physically fit.

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“He is great around the place, great with the kids and it is a good deal for both parties.

“Alan is different to the strikers we have, they are all different, and he is someone that I could use during the season.”

Between them, the quartet of strikers at Portman Road have scored just once this season, McGoldrick hitting the target against Leeds, and the attacking line-up could change tomorrow.

One player who is certain to play is left-back Aaron Cresswell who continues to be linked with a move to the Premier League.

However, McCarthy says the defender is unlikely to depart before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday.

“Cressy is not going anywhere and if anyone comes in for him now, they are bonkers,” said McCarthy.

“We don’t want him to go, we would struggle to find a replacement for him as I want two players in each position and if any club did want him, it would cost them a shed-load more money as it is at the end of the window.

“I can’t say that for sure, 100 per cent, because someone may offer five million up front and the owner might want to take it, but we want Aaron to progress here.”

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