Grant hails Town’s spirit

GRANT Leadbitter epitomises the new-found spirit in the Ipswich Town camp, which has seen Roy Keane’s men win three of their first four matches.

And Leadbitter, who tucked home the opening goal from the penalty spot in Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace, is hoping a few new players arrive this week.

With striker Jon Stead set to sign for Championship rivals Bristol City in the next day or so, the onus is on chief executive Simon Clegg and owner Marcus Evans to strengthen a threadbare squad by closing out some deals.

Keane has made no secret of the fact that the priority is to bring in a couple of strikers. Cardiff City front-runner Ross McCormack and Wigan target-man Jason Scotland are still the most likely arrivals, although Cardiff hot-shot Michael Chopra has been linked with a move to Portman Road all summer.

Leadbitter is certainly playing his part in papering over the cracks of the current squad, battling back from a foot injury to make a surprise appearance at Palace.

“It wasn’t looking good last week, but fair play to the physios. They did the work to get me on the pitch,” revealed Leadbitter. “I went straight to hospital after the Burnley game, and fortunately an X-ray showed no chip on my ankle bone.

“I want to play every game and feel OK to do so. There’s no cockiness in the team. We are playing for each other, and not getting carried away. Any players coming in will give competition for places,” added Leadbitter.

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Meanwhile, Stead looks certain to have played his last game for Town, despite having impressed at the start of this season. He led the front-line on his own at Selhurst Park, during which Carlos Edwards netted the second to help seal a third away win on the bounce.

A move to Bristol City appears imminent, as Robins boss Keith Millen confirmed: “He’s (Stead’s) someone we have been looking at for a while. We hope to conclude a deal early in the week.”

Stead’s departure would leave Keane with just one fit striker, in the shape of Tamas Priskin.

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