Jim tips Lisbie to be among hot shots

BLUES boss Jim Magilton has tipped new signing Kevin Lisbie to be high among the Championship hot shots in their promotion push.After scoring 17 goals in 43 games for relegated Colchester United last season, Magilton has high hopes that Lisbie will get even more with the better service Ipswich can provide.

Derek Davis

BLUES boss Jim Magilton has tipped new signing Kevin Lisbie to be high among the Championship hot shots in their promotion push.

After scoring 17 goals in 43 games for relegated Colchester United last season, Magilton has high hopes that Lisbie will get even more with the better service Ipswich can provide.

Magilton said: “He's a real 'box player', a natural goalscorer and I expect him to do well here at Ipswich.

“He will get plenty of chances from our midfield and with his pace and good movement around the box I think he will make the most of them.”

Lisbie completed his £600,000 move from Layer Road to Portman Road on Friday night after signing a three-year deal.

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Magilton hopes he will be the first of several signings this week, with keeper Richard Wright close to returning to Ipswich after West Ham agreed he could leave.

He is also considering making defender Ben Thatcher an offer, while Rudi Skacel, Aneglos Christeas and Nicky Maynard have also been targeted.

Magilton said: “Hopefully we'll have one or two more through the door before our game at Gillingham.”

For the moment though he is delighted to have landed the 29-year-old Jamaican international.

Magilton added: “These things never happen overnight, but we were adamant we wanted Kevin and I am delighted he has joined the club.

“We've always been aware of him and of his qualities, he has always done well against us and he scored a lot of goals for Colchester last season.”

Lisbie's arrival could see at least one striker move away, although Magilton expects his experience and knowledge could help the younger strikers Jordan Rhodes and Billy Clarke before they go out on loan.

Magilton said: “Kevin's arrival brings more competition for places for us and that's what you need all over the park. You want your players to be under pressure for their places.

“In addition to his ability, he also has a good deal of experience, having played international football and in the Premier League, so he will help to bring on some of the youngsters here.

“Jordan Rhodes, for example, has had an excellent pre-season and can only learn and benefit from having a player like Kevin around.”

Although Magilton was clearly happy at the signing, his opposite number at Colchester, and near neighbour in Ipswich, was less so.

Geraint Williams had offered the striker an improved offer but could not persuade him to stay at the League One club.

He said: “We are obviously disappointed to lose Kevin.

“We showed how much we wanted to keep him and did our best in that regard. However, the lure of Championship football proved too great and he has decided that he would like to join Ipswich.

“On a personal note, I would like to thank Kevin for his service. We have been good for his career and he has been good for Colchester United with the quality he has shown.”

United still have three experienced strikers on their books, in club record signing Steven Gillespie, target-man Clive Platt and ex-Blackpool marksman Scott Vernon, but the U's boss would still like to strengthen in that area following Lisbie's departure.As with former top scorer Jamie Cureton (2006-07), who left the U's after just one season and 24 goals to join Championship side Norwich City, so last season's leading marksman Lisbie has opted for Championship football at Portman Road, again after just one year.