Richard Wright: It’s time to look after No.1

GOALKEEPER Richard Wright says he had to leave his beloved Blues because he wasn’t prepared to play second fiddle any more.

The 34-year-old returned to his boyhood club for a third spell in November last year, but ended up making only one appearance – the 3-2 home defeat to Reading – with manager Paul Jewell then preferring Arran Lee-Barrett and loanee Alex McCarthy for the rest of the campaign.

Opting not to discuss an extension of his short-term deal, the former England international has already spoken to three clubs about the possibility of signing.

And having been a back-up keeper at the likes of Arsenal, Everton and West Ham throughout his career, he says the promise of No.1 status will play the biggest part in his decision.

“I spoke to Paul Jewell at the end of the season, he asked me what my ambitions were going forwards and I told him I want to be playing football week-in, week-out,” said Wright, who this week has been working towards gaining his UEFA ‘B’ coaching licence at Charlton Athletic.

“Arran (Lee-Barrett) did very well when he came in and out of the team, but I won’t lie – it was very, very frustrating for me because I wanted to be playing and I felt I was doing enough in training to play.

“On a positive note though I worked amazingly hard – Paul Jewell and Malcolm Webster (goalkeeping coach) pushed me further than ever before – and as a result I feel in tip-top condition.

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“I feel like I can keep playing for a few more years yet.”

Wright spent a week on trial at Major League Soccer side FC Dallas last January but says there have been no further talks about a permanent move.

He said: “I just want to go to a team that can offer me regular football because I feel I am still more than capable.

“I’d drop down a league as long as it was for a club that has ambitions to do something next season.”

Having made more than 350 appearances for his hometown club, Wright reflected: “I’ve loved playing for Ipswich Town.

“It’s where I was born, it’s the team I support and not many people get to play one game for their hometown club – let alone be given three spells. I feel honoured.”