Begovic sad to depart Town

IPSWICH Town boss Roy Keane is left weighing up his goalkeeping options once more after Asmir Begovic returned to Portsmouth.

Mike Bacon

IPSWICH Town boss Roy Keane is left weighing up his goalkeeping options once more after Asmir Begovic returned to Portsmouth.

The 22-year-old Bosnian international, who has made a big impact at Portman Road during his short on-loan spell, has been re-called by Pompey and will be facing the Red Devils of Manchester United on Saturday in the Premier League, rather than the Bluebirds of Cardiff, where Ipswich travel on Sunday.

The big stopper has impressed in his short spell at Portman Road and last night, before he departed, he left the door ajar for a return to Portman Road should the opportunity arise.

"I have really enjoyed my time at Ipswich," Asmir said.

"I came here to play football and try and help the team climb up the table and in the short space of time I have been here I have felt part of the side, part of the Club and part of the town.

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"I would have been very happy to have stayed here until January but circumstances have dictated differently.

"I'm sad to leave, to be honest. I have enjoyed the challenge here but Portsmouth want me back. I don't know how long David (James) will be out for and who will take over from him. I'll find that out later in the week.

"I have a new challenge at Portsmouth but if the opportunity comes up to return to Ipswich on loan I would be very interested."

Begovic conceded just four goals in his six unbeaten games with Town and now finds himself back at Fratton Park due to an injury to England star James.

James sustained a calf injury in the warm-up before Portsmouth's defeat at Stoke City on Sunday and looks set to be out for three weeks, with Pompey boss Paul Hart having no second thoughts about re-calling Begovic.

At the weekend Pompey keeper Jamie Ashdown started in the 1-0 defeat at Stoke on Sunday, with Antti Niemi on the bench, but the smart money is on Begovic to be in the starting line-up against Sir Alex Ferguson's men on Saturday.

Begovic's time with Ipswich will certainly be seen as successful as the Blues have gone on an unbeaten run of six games and, more importantly shored up what was an embarrassingly leaky defence.

However one person who could benefit from Begovic's return is Richard Wright.

The Ipswich-born keeper was the man to make way for the Bosnian after a run of games that saw Town concede 14 goals in six matches prior to his arrival.

Keane could look for an on-loan replacement, but he has Arran Lee-Barrett in his ranks, although Brian Murphy's arrival from Irish side Bohemians will not be until January.

Meanwhile Ipswich Town last night poured cold water on reports Keane was about to lose his job at Portman Road.

A club spokesman told the EADT: “Reports in the press on Monday morning that Roy will be sacked are complete rubbish.” Mike_Bacon

Short but sweet, Asmir's Town record

v Swansea (H) 1-1

v Watford (H) 1-1

v Plymouth (A) 1-1

v Derby County (H) 1-0

v Reading (A) 1-1

v Sheff Wed (H) 0-0

P6 W1 D5 L0

Begovic . . . personally speaking

Date of birth: June 20, 1987

Birthplace: Trebinje, Bosnia

Height: 6ft. 5in.

Pompey Chimes: Four appearances for Portsmouth in the Premier League, so far.

Did you know?: Begovic speaks three languages, Bosnian, English and German.

Quotes to note: “I'm playing games and enjoying my football and that's very important to me. As long as I'm playing, I'd love to stay at Ipswich.”

“It's been a breath of fresh air to come to Ipswich and get away from the problems at Portsmouth.”