I can be Blues number one vows Arran Lee-Barrett

MAN-of-the-match Arran Lee-Barrett has vowed to do all he can to convince Paul Jewell he can be the Blues’ number one for the rest of the season.

The Ipswich-born 27-year-old was a key figure in keeping Town’s first clean sheet in nine games during Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Derby County at Portman Road.

Keith Andrews’ contentious winner – his ninth of the season – proved the difference but a string of fine first half saves from Lee-Barrett kept the Blues in the game and answered some of his critics.

Now after watching 19 matches from the bench this season, and seeing Richard Wright leapfrog him for the jersey last month, Lee-Barrett is determined to show that he is the man to replace David Stockdale in the Town goal.

He said: “I am quietly determined and confident in myself, I always have been, but who knows what’s going to happen. I don’t have to shout (about my ability), my workrate speaks for itself and it is up to the manager to make a decision.

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“I was really pleased to be back at Portman Road and the crowd was great. I am buzzing about the win and the clean sheet – and delighted for the club and the fans especially.”

Following Stockdale’s return to Fulham last week, Lee-Barrett’s fortunes have quickly changed after Jewell opted to sign – and then start – Wright for last month’s 3-2 defeat by Reading.

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“The gaffer always says its a squad, not just the 11 that start – I think I prove that,” Lee-Barrett added. “Other keepers have had their chances and I have had to wait but it is good to be playing.

“I spoke to the manager (after Reading) and I respect his opinion. What I said to the gaffer and what he said to me stays in the manager’s office. I took it on board.”

And Jewell added: “To be fair to Arran, he was disappointed when I brought in Wrighty for the Reading game, but he got his head down and fate has seen him back in the side.”

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