Damien's backing for rookie keeper

DAMIEN Delaney today backed reserve keeper Arran Lee-Barrett to become a hit for Ipswich Town over the next month.

Elvin King

DAMIEN Delaney today backed reserve keeper Arran Lee-Barrett to become a hit for Ipswich Town over the next month.

Lee-Barrett looks like being between the posts for the next six games at least with Richard Wright injured and Republic of Ireland squad member Brian Murphy not eligible to play for the Blues until January 1.

It will put a huge amount of pressure on the 25-year-old, who was released by Hartlepool at the end of last season and joined Ipswich as cover for Wright when Shane Supple hung up his gloves in August.

Ipswich are just getting out of first gear under the management of Roy Keane with a run of seven unbeaten games, and December could be a make-or-break time for the club.

They have been told they cannot bring in a loan keeper, but Delaney is not concerned.

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He said: “Arran has been tremendous in training for the last two months really coming on well and finding his feet.

“He has impressed and I hope he takes his chance. I'm sure he will do well.

“Asmir Begovic was brilliant for us while on loan from Portsmouth and Richard Wright had his chance but was injured in an innocuous challenge at Cardiff on Sunday.”

Delaney has impressed since winning his way into the side against Derby four games ago, and he revealed that it was his own fault that he was left out in the cold for four games in late September and early October.

“It was my fault as I was not playing well,” he added. “Sometimes you deserve a kick up the backside to get your head down and come back and do a decent job.

“I'm okay with my displays now, but not happy. I'm not getting carried away and there s an awful long way to go before I can say I'm happy.

“If I play every match to the end of the season then I can look back and say I'm happy.”

Delaney says that the mood in the Town changing room is now such that the players can't wait for Saturday's game at Bristol City to come.

“To win at a place like Cardiff was a great achievement and we have gained confidence from that,” he explained.

“We all can't wait to get back out on the pitch. The aim was to get off the bottom and then out of the relegation zone, and then get clear.

“And we can set new markers when we get clear.

“Stability at the back has helped our cause and I'm sure this will continue to be a plus with Arran behind us.”