Gary counts his blessings

GARY Roberts today counted his blessings on his return to Wales for Ipswich Town's Coca-Cola Championship game with Cardiff City.But he revealed that the gloss is taken off if he is not playing regular first-team football.

By Elvin King

GARY Roberts today counted his blessings on his return to Wales for Ipswich Town's Coca-Cola Championship game with Cardiff City.

But he revealed that the gloss is taken off if he is not playing regular first-team football.

The 23-year-old said: “Ipswich Town is where I want to be.

“I have seen enough of Welsh football having played non league for Welshpool and Bangor.

“In my year at Portman Road I have learned so much and technically improved as a player.

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“But I still want to play.

“Whether you are with a Premier League or a Ryman League club you want to play.

“And I am no exception.

“You would not be a real professional if you felt any different.”

After starting the season in the team Roberts has been left mainly on the fringe, although he did start in the 3-1 defeat at Sheffield United 18 days ago.

“I thought I did okay, and kept the ball well,” added Roberts. “And I thought the gaffer was satisfied.

“But I was dropped for the next game, against Bristol City, which was a blow.

“I am desperate to play and will be doing all I can to work my way into the starting line-up.

“But if the team is doing well then you have to wait you turn sometimes.”

When Town played at Cardiff last December, Roberts was a regular and there was talk of him earning a Welsh cap.

“John Toshack was interested, but when they went into my background it was found that I did not have the right family connections,” said Roberts, who was signed from Accrington last January after a period on loan.

He admits that he is not a fan of reserve team football.

“Ipswich is the first club where I have played second XI football,” Roberts said. “And with respect to our opposition it is not a good standard.

“Some of the opposition players should not be on the same pitch as our players.

“And when you are craving to play in front of 20,000-plus at Portman Road it is daunting to play in front of a few hundred.”

Roberts has praise for Magilton, the man who gave the left-sided player a chance to resurrect his career.

“Jim Magilton is a top manager and I have learned so much. Both he and his coaches have given me so much time.”

And looking ahead to home matches against Southampton (Tuesday) and Barnsley (Saturday) next week Roberts said: “At the minute I cannot see anybody beating us at Portman Road.

“And I am sure an away win will arrive sooner rather than later - and hopefully today.”

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