'He can trust me to do that' - Leigh on his new challenge at Town
- Credit: ITFC
New Ipswich Town signing Greg Leigh says he can't wait to walk out at Portman Road - and show that he can play the brand of possession football favoured by boss Kieran McKenna.
The Jamaican international signed a two-year deal with the Blues last week, and revealed that chats with both McKenna and impassioned CEO Mark Ashton helped make his decision.
"They've been really good," he said. "When I was first approached obviously I was thinking 'what a massive club and what an opportunity' but chatting to the manager and finding out more about the club, how he wants to play and about my role, where the club wants to go, it's been massive for me in making my decision."
He added: "The manager spoke about playing a lot of football on the floor, playing around teams and keeping possession of the football, something I've not done in my recent career - but it's something I've grown up doing.
"We talked a lot about my history and background of playing that type of football, so he knows he can trust me to do that and I think that will work well, thinking about how we can work together going forward."
Left back Leigh, who scored on his pre-season debut for the Blues at Needham on Saturday, came up through Manchester City's youth ranks, where he says possession football was the norm.
"In the latter years of my youth team days and up towards 21's, I played pure possession football," the 27-year-old explained. "The idea was to keep possession of the ball, keep it away from the opposition and control games.
"The manager really believes in that, as do I, so that's why it was a good fit."
Leigh spent last season at Morecambe, playing more than 40 games across a variety of positions and helping keep The Shrimps in the third tier.
Having made the move to Suffolk, he's looking forward to getting on the front foot with the ball - and playing in front of 20,000 plus at Portman Road, sporting the club's record-breaking new kits.
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"Obviously I got a lot games under my belt - 41, which was good," he said of his time at Morecambe. "A little bit of a scrappy time at times, being at the bottom end of the league, but a great group of lads and a real team spirit which kept us up.
"That was really good, and obviously a massive positive for me to show what I could do, especially defensively, playing in a team that doesn't have the lions' share of possession a lot of the time.
"But I think the new challenge for me now will be playing in a team who have the ball a lot more and doing things going forward, as oppose to maybe keeping teams out."
He played at Portman Road on the first day of last season, coming off the bench as Morecambe secured a surprise point in Suffolk.
And he says that experience has made him eager to pull on the home team's colours.
"I'm massively looking forward to it. It was my first game back in League One for three years, coming to Ipswich, and it was a big occasion and a big day.
"The game was really good and competitive. I can't wait to just step out there and show what I can do in front of the home crowd."
He added: "It's been a while since I've had a home crowd like that, which will be amazing to have behind the boys and behind the team as we try and play and impress and show what we can do, and also get results in front of everybody who's going to come to watch."
Of the new-look kits, Leigh said: "It's lovely. I've seen it online and things like that, following the club and seeing the new partnership (with Umbro), but it's really nice.
"To be able to wear that - I've never played in blue before, so I'll be excited to wear that and show what we can do in a decent kit."