Luck slips through Wright's hands

IS Richard Wright cursed? It certainly seems like it!

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

IS Richard Wright cursed? It certainly seems like it!

Few goalkeepers have suffered more back luck than Ipswich Town stalwart Wright, who has been plagued by a spate of freak injuries in recent years.

Wright's most recent setback, a knee injury sustained during what seemed to be a run-of-the-mill collision with Cardiff striker Michael Chopra, will see the 32-year-old sitting on the sidelines for the next four months.

To make it doubly worse, Sunday's game at the impressive new Cardiff City Stadium was seen as a chance for Wright to regain favour with Town boss Roy Keane.

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The Irishman had finally lost patience and dropped Wright, following a 2-1 defeat at Barnsley on October 3. In came Portsmouth loanee Asmir Begovic, who proceeded to let in just four goals in six matches as Town started on an unbeaten run.

Wright was out-in-the-cold and not expected to reclaim his place before Begovic returned to Portsmouth in January. However, the Bosnian international was suddenly recalled by Pompey, due to an injury to their No. 1 David James, paving the way for Wright's return.

Hope springs eternal, or so Wright thought, until he hobbled off with his knee injury after just 25 minutes of Sunday's 2-1 win at Cardiff.

But at least Wright is not unaccustomed to enduring huge knock-backs in his long career.

He has bounced back in the past, and he will look to draw inspiration from these tests of character in the months to ahead.

During his frustrating five-year spell at Everton, when he played just 60 league games and was otherwise stuck in the reserves or on the treatment table, Wright had a glimmer of hope when Toffees regular Nigel Martyn was injured during the 2005-06 campaign.

This was Wright's great opportunity to establish himself at Goodison Park, only for him to suffer a freak injury in the warm-up before an FA Cup fourth round replay at Chelsea in February, 2006.

Wright was warming-up in the goal in front of Everton's fans, having decided to move a wooden sign that had requested him to use temporary nets close by.

Ironically, having moved the sign into his net, he then fell on it while making a save. The outcome was an ankle injury and a sudden elevation to the starting line-up for third choice rookie Iain Turner.

And in a separate incident, earlier in his Everton career, there were reports of Wright being injured after falling from a loft.

Injuries, then, have plagued this ex-England international - he earned two caps - throughout his career.

Hopefully, Wright will bounce back from this latest injury.

Surgery should not be needed, but once again his career is in limbo.

n Richard Wright's injury means that Town boss Roy Keane is on the look-out for a new loan keeper. He should be able to secure a keeper on an emergency week-to-week basis, even though the transfer deadline for loan signings ended last Thursday. Keane will hope to have a new recruit in place before this Saturday's game at Bristol City.