Keeper rewarded with new contract

IPSWICH Town's Arran Lee-Barrett has been rewarded for his performances over the last seven weeks with a new 18-month contract.The 25-year-old goalkeeper will be between the posts for the eighth consecutive game tomorrow when the Blues travel to St Mary's Stadium to take on League One Southampton in the fourth round of the FA Cup (kick-off 3pm).

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town's Arran Lee-Barrett has been rewarded for his performances over the last seven weeks with a new 18-month contract.

The 25-year-old goalkeeper will be between the posts for the eighth consecutive game tomorrow when the Blues travel to St Mary's Stadium to take on League One Southampton in the fourth round of the FA Cup (kick-off 3pm).

After walking into the training ground and asking for permission to help keep fit in August, the Ipswich-raised keeper now has a contract until June 2011.

His original short-term one ran out this week and Ipswich manager Roy Keane said: “Arran has done really well, and he has agreed and signed a new contract that we are all pleased about.”

Lee-Barrett will have rookie Ian McLoughlin as his deputy tomorrow with Brian Murphy very unlikely to have recovered from a damaged right ankle in time.

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“These ankle injuries can be very sore,” said Keane.

“After three or four days you make progress, but then it can drag on for another two or three weeks.

“Brian's a fit lad who looks after himself and he could be back in the squad for Tuesday's home league game against West Brom.”

American winger Devann Yao is at Town's Playford Road training ground recovering from injury and his permanent signing is still being held up by red tape.

Keane hopes it will go through before the end of the month.

Keane refuted reports that he was about to sign Celtic's Lee Naylor although he did not dismiss it completely, and added: “I wouldn't say I'm anxious, but I'd perhaps like to add one or two in the transfer window.

“I haven't got any news at the minute. We're hopeful but my mentality is that we'll be getting nobody in.

“That way I won't be too disappointed or giving any of our supporters false hope.

“Something might happen next week but we'll wait and see.”

Keane confirmed that Ben Thatcher came through unscathed in his first 45 minutes of competitive action in a reserve game on Wednesday.

And talking of coach Steve Foley, who took charge of the second string for the first time against Southend, Keane said: “I asked Steve to do that job, but he will still be involved with the first team.”

He says that his plans are not finalised yet on how he wants his coaching team to work following the departure of Bryan Klug.