Jon hopes to stand Town in good Stead

AT six feet three inches Jon Stead is very much the big man up front.The Blues newest signing has been brought in to replace Alan Lee and provide the bag man to partner little man Kevin Lisbie.

Derek Davis

AT six feet three inches Jon Stead is very much the big man up front.

The Blues newest signing has been brought in to replace Alan Lee and to partner little man Kevin Lisbie.

The 25-year-old's goal ratio of less than one in five is not particularly impressive but his contribution to a team's attack has seen him play in the top flight with Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland and Sheffield United.

He has also been relegated with the Black Cats and the Blades and has clear ambitions about getting back to the top flight.

Stead burst on to the scene with his home town club Huddersfield Town. He made his debut at 19 against Brentford but it was three goals in four games at the start of the 2003-04 season has the premier League clubs queuing.

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Blackburn made the move and he scored on his Premier League debut against Middlesbrough.

But Mark Hughes was not impressed enough to keep him and Stead joined Sunderland in a £1.8m move in the summer of 2005.

He endured a nightmare 11 months without a goal before breaking his drought on April Fools' Day against Everton and his only other goal for the Black Cats was at Southend.

A loan spell at Derby was slightly more productive with three in 17 and that persuaded Neil Warnock to pay £750,000 for him to join Sheffield United.

Even though he hit five in 14 it was not enough to prevent United going down, in controversial fashion, but even though he made 31 appearances last season for Bryan Robson and Kevin Blackwell he only returned half a dozen goals.

With James Beattie set to return Stead knew his chances at Bramall Lane were going to be further restricted and jumped at the chance to join Ipswich on an initial loan spell.

Stead has only ever played against Ipswich once, but didn't score in the 2-1 Blades win in south Yorkshire.

When with England Under-21s he got to know former Ipswich stars Darren Bent, Matt Richards and Ian Westlake.

As a champion swimmer and representing Yorkshire at Under 13 level he and Westlake had plenty in common but never had a race.

Stead could make his debut for Town against Reading a week on Saturday and it will be interesting see how he slots in.

If he and Lisbie are up front it could mean Pablo Counago dropping into a hole behind them, or be dropped completely.