I thought my professional career was over - Town cup star

COLIN Healy came in out of the cold to help Ipswqich Town move within touching distance of Wembley – and he says that it’s all a big bonus after he thought his professional career was over.

The 30-year-old has played just 14 Town matches since being signed by former manager Roy Keane in the summer of 2009.

The midfielder is expected to make this 15 against Millwall in a Championship fixture at Millwall today (kick-off 3pm) having set up Tamas Priskin’s winning goal against the Gunners in the Carling Cup semi-final on Wednesday and with Grant Leadbitter suspended and Jake Livermore injured.

Manager Paul Jewell in his first match in charge is unlikely to tinker much – it at all - with his side after a thoroughly impressive all-round display despite having Rory Fallon, Jason Scotland and Luke Hyam available to him.

“I thought my playing days over here were over,” admitted Healy, who spent the final months of last season on loan at Falkirk and expected to leave Portman Road in the summer when made available for transfer.

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“I coped with the Championship when I was over here before, but suffered two broken legs and a serious knee injury and went back to Cork.

“It looked like I was going to play part time Irish League, but I worked hard got my confidence back and there were offers to go back to England,

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“This is all a bonus to me and the atmosphere, the performance and the occasion on Wednesday made it worthwhile.

“I failed to get to grips with the Championship when I came back in 2009 and it is a big step up from the Irish League.

“And when I was included on a list of players available to leave Ipswich last summer I did not expect to still be here now.

“My contract ends in June and I would like to stay in English football and Wednesday’s game has given me the confidence to go on and do so.

“I enjoy playing the game even more so after my injuries and it’s not what I want to be sitting in the stands.”

Healy admits that the win over Arsenal took it out of the players and he added: “I felt a bit tired, but by kick-off time against Millwall we’ll all be a position to kick-on and take what we gained against Arsenal into our league programme.

“Perhaps after 70 minutes at the Den fatigue might creep in, but I think we’ll be okay.”

Keane is also a Cork man like Healy, and the player confirmed that the previous manager had not lost the dressing room.

He sees no problem working with Jewell, and went on: “We trained with him on Friday and it went well so I’m sure he’ll be fine. He came across well.

“He has told us to carry on from Wednesday and that if we do that we will be okay.

“We worked as a team, were solid at the back, scored a goal and saw it out.”

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