Andy Drury is inspired by Ipswich Town’s history

ANDY Drury is slowly beginning to feel like an established Championship player – and now he’s keen to help Ipswich Town create some new history.

The 28-year-old midfielder started out in non-league and continued to work as a brick layer before becoming Paul Jewell’s surprise first signing in January 2011, arriving from Luton Town.

His time in the Championship looked like it might be short though when a fee was agreed ahead of a loan spell out at League Two side Crawley Town before Christmas,

However, having never tasted defeat during his 15 games there, he returned to become a key part of the Blues’ revival in the second half of the campaign. He has been on the losing side just five times in 17 appearances this year.

“I’d like to think that, approaching 20 games this season, I’m becoming an established Championship player now,” said Drury. “It’s a big club and I’d obviously like to stay here for a few years.

“There’s a lot of history here and it’s nice to see the legends from time to time. Warky (John Wark) is always about in the canteen eating the food! He’s a top bloke and I always have a little chat with him. He doesn’t really talk to you much about the games, he leaves that to the coaches, but it’s great to have someone like that around the club though.

“For the Barnsley game we had the 1962 players there opening the stand and it’s nice to be reminded of those sort of achievements. It makes you even more determined to get this club back to the top league.”

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Drury was rested for the 1-1 home draw with Middlesbrough last month and again for Monday’s 2-1 home defeat to Leicester – veteran Lee Bowyer replacing him on both occasions. The midfielder says he respects manager Paul Jewell’s decisions though and thrives on the competition for places.

“He (Jewell) sat me down and said he was going to rest me and I did agree that maybe I needed one,” said Drury.

“I’ve only missed a few games since I’ve come back. I had a little dip a few games ago, but overall I’m pretty happy with my form.

“I just want to play as many games as I can between now and the end of the season and make sure I’m still in the team come August.

“You’ve always got a point to prove whether you are in or out the team. You just have to look around the dressing room, the quality we’ve got here always keeps you on your toes.

“Jimmy (Bullard) is not even in the squad at the moment, Lee Bowyer hasn’t played every game – they’re good quality players so you know you have to be right on your game to keep your place.

“These are established Premier League players, but while it’s nice to be here playing alongside them now you have to remind yourself that you’re here on merit.”

Played as a right-winger at Crawley, Drury has played a deeper central role in a 4-2-3-1 formation for Ipswich.

“I’m enjoying it,” said Drury. “Being in the middle there is always stuff to do.

“Protecting the back four, getting forward and scoring goals - he (Jewell) wants everything I think! He is a demanding manager but that is good because it makes sure you keep giving 110%.”