Ipswich Town might have to borrow a local keeper on Dutch tour
ARRAN Lee-Barrett is running out of time to prove to Paul Jewell he can be the Blues number one next season.
The Town boss has spent the entire summer searching at home and abroad for a new man to replace Lee-Barrett.
But with just five weeks to go until the start of the new season, the 27-year-old remains the only keeper in the first team squad.
The club flew out for their pre-season tour of Holland yesterday where they will play two matches in three days.
This leaves Jewell with the grim scenario of having to borrow a goalkeeper from either a local team or even the opposition or turn to an outfield player if injury should befall Lee-Barrett.
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While the games against Helmond Sports tomorrow night and then Den Bosch on Thursday are merely training games, this situation is far from perfect.
But it does mean Lee-Barrett should play every minute of the first two pre-season friendlies knowing he needs good performances in games and training.
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Jewell last season never seemed completely convinced by the Ipswich-born keeper and his efforts to bring in a replacement – headed by Tomasz Kuszczak before he signed for Brighton – suggest nothing has changed.
It would be something of a surprise if Lee-Barrett starts the season in goal – though he will use the tour and any other friendly as a chance to prove people wrong.
Jewell continues to work tirelessly to bring in new faces with the arrival of Luke Chambers making a new keeper the number one priority.
Talk last week that Tom Heaton might join up with the club in Holland were wide of the mark and as time ticks along, the chances are the Blues will again turn to the loan market – although for a season-long loan without the 24-hour recall clause.