I had to leave Blues - Lee

ALAN Lee has revealed he felt he had no option but to leave the Blues after manager Jim Magilton kept accepting offers for him.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

ALAN Lee has revealed he felt he had no option but to leave the Blues after manager Jim Magilton kept accepting offers for him.

Lee enjoyed a good relationship with Town fans and was not keen to leave Portman Road but finally got the hint that he was not wanted when Magilton said he could leave for Palace after indicating to hull City and Burnley they could have him.

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Lee said: “A move is instigated by a club when they accept a bid and it was the second or third time they had done that, even though I had been top scorer for the last two seasons.

“I led all the stats and there's something not right if the manager is still accepting bids, so to look after myself I felt I had to go.”

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Although he dug his heels in a couple of times, Lee accepted the time was right to go and Palace was not a bad option after turning down a move that could have led to Premier League football.

He said: “I know I could've gone to Hull for a lot more money but I didn't feel it was right at the time.

“I was only going to move somewhere where I thought I would have more chance of getting promoted and I felt that at Crystal Palace under Neil Warnock.”

Even though he missed out and Hull went up, Lee's misery was compounded by Town missing out on the final weekend.

He said: “We were a point off the play-offs at Ipswich last year which was devastating because we really felt on the wrong end of some decisions.

It was a bizarre year for things going for us. I remember in the last couple of games a QPR player punched the ball from behind his own line with his hand and the ref didn't see it.

"We felt we couldn't have put any more effort in, we just needed a bit more luck with decisions and we would have been right up there."

Although the 30-year-old striker is looking to secure just his second goal for Palace since his August move, Lee hopes he will keep a good relationship with Town supporters and doesn't feel he needs to make a point.

He said: “They were absolutely brilliant towards me. When I left I had lots of fantastic mail. I'm still living in the Essex area and people come up to me and thank me for what I did for Ipswich - most say they wish I hadn't left. I had a fantastic time at Ipswich. I don't feel I've got anything to prove.”

His feelings towards Town fans won't stop him wanting to score and celebrating.

He said: “There will be my usual vigour as long as it is one that counts - you don't celebrate a goal if you're losing. I would love nothing more than to score the winner and celebrate it appropriately.”

Palace will have centre-half Jose Fonte back from suspension but are still without influential defender Paddy McCarthy who has had a shoulder operation.

Top scorer Shefki Kuqi with six goals could figure but with Neil Warnock opting for a 4-3-3 it could be lee starting ahead of the Finn.

James Scowcroft has missed out of late but could figure on the bench with Ben Watson ruled out.

Palace have lost just once in 10 games at Selhurst Park and are looking to edge towards the play-off placess this weekend, while defeat for Town could leave them 11 points off the top six.


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