Leicester City midfielder Richie Wellens ‘wouldn’t think twice’ about a return to Ipswich Town
Leicester v Ipswich: He could play against Ipswich Town tomorrow, but Leicester City midfielder Richie Wellens has not ruled out a return to Portman Road on loan next week.
Having spent more than five months on the sidelines with a knee injury, the 32-year-old was allowed to join one of the bottom four Championship clubs on a one-month loan at the start of October as the Foxes aimed to get their influential playmaker match fit again.
Wellens chose to join the struggling Blues and started all seven of the matches he was available for before returning to his parent club following last weekend’s 2-1 home win over Burnley.
By sheer coincidence, Ipswich travel to Leicester tomorrow. And with the East Midlands outfit having gone four matches without a win, it was expected that Wellens would go straight into their youthful midfield – especially as Neil Danns was loaned to Bristol City yesterday.
However, Wellens – in an exclusive interview with the EADT – says he has not spoken to manager Nigel Pearson this week and admits he would love to return to Ipswich following their upturn in fortunes under the management of Mick McCarthy,
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“I trained again with Leicester on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, but have not spoken to Nigel yet,” said Wellens. “I’m not 100 per cent sure what’s happening to be honest.
“I had a conversation with Mick before his first game. He said he wanted to extend my stay, but I wasn’t that keen at that stage if I’m being honest. A lot has changed over the last three games though, everyone has responded really well to Mick, the team looks a lot harder to beat and two wins from three has got the club going in the right direction.
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“There is a feeling that everything is starting to come together a little bit. And if I’m not going to be in the team at Leicester then I wouldn’t think twice about coming back to Ipswich.”
The experienced midfielder – who has played over 100 games for Leicester and captained the side at times – continued: “I’ve worked really hard to get my knee back to where it was over the last month and over the last couple of games I’ve felt fitter and stronger. The timing, touch, how to use your body – all that match sharpness has started coming back.
“It’s been tough and, having done all that hard work, the last thing I want to do is go backwards. I want to kick on now, not be sat on the bench.”
He added: “When I first arrived at Ipswich it was tough for Paul Jewell. He was working really hard and fighting to win games, but everything was going against him.
“Mick McCarthy has come in and, first and foremost, he is a top guy. He’s managed at the top level and every player, from what I have seen, has responded really well to him. He’s going to keep Ipswich up and, if he gets some of his own players, they’ll probably finish mid-table.
“I was just beginning to form a few relationships with the lads and it will be good to see them again at the weekend. I guess my situation will be more clear once this weekend’s game is out the way.”
Asked about Wellens yesterday, Foxes boss Pearson said: “Richie has had a spell at Ipswich which has allowed him to play games and hopefully that has benefited him. Hopefully that will benefit us too.
“We will have to see how these first couple of weeks pan out with him back here. He has been playing regularly at Ipswich and we have had a relatively settled midfield. “It is certainly good to have him back and he does have a wealth of experience. We will see how that develops over the next few weeks. From our perspective it was more a fact that he was at a point in his rehab where he needed to be playing games. It worked out well for us.”