Arran Lee-Barrett out to show the boss why he deserves the shirt

ARRAN Lee-Barrett is keen to prove to manager Paul Jewell that the answer to his goalkeeping problem is already right under his nose.

The local lad – now in his fourth season at Portman Road – is set to start tomorrow’s Championship game at Derby County and equal his record of 15 appearances in one campaign for the Blues.

However, manager Paul Jewell has seemed reluctant to use the 28-year-old at times, bringing in loan keepers David Stockdale and Alex McCarthy, as well as signing veteran Richard Wright on a free transfer.

With McCarthy recalled by parent club Reading last week and the loan window now shut, Lee-Barrett is likely to play the remaining six games. The fact that Jewell has publicly stated that he is searching for a new keeper will have done little to help his current custodian’s confidence though.

“It has been a challenging season, getting my head around playing and then not playing,” admitted the Blues keeper. “I think I’m a stronger player for it now and I’m just concentrating on seeing the season out in the side if given the opportunity.

“I don’t think I’ve ever thought I’ve nailed down a place here – if you think like that you get complacent. As I’ve said before, I want to be in the team and I want to be playing. All I can do is give it my best.

“I’m happy that the gaffer has had the faith to put me in again. Now, like every player, I’ve got to go out there and try to show why I deserve the shirt”.

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Lee-Barrett survived a heart in mouth moment in the first half of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Barnsley when nearly spilling the ball over his own line. He then produced some important stops in the second half to seal all three points.

“You can be nervous going back into the team so I was happy to get over that first half incident,” said the Blues keeper.

“I’m pleased with my record regards the points we’ve picked up while I’ve been playing - I’m just disappointed not to have had more games this season.

“I think I’ve been here nearly four years now and there has always been talk of goalkeepers coming in throughout that time – you’re going to get that at any club.

“You’ve just got to welcome that competition because you learn something new from each goalkeeper and you have to use that to improve yourself.”