Richard Wright to jet back from America to ease Ipswich Town’s goalkeeper shortage
RICHARD Wright will jet back from America later this week to answer the call of desperate Ipswich Town.
Blues boss Paul Jewell allowed his third choice keeper to fly out to the States last Saturday to begin a week-long trial with Major League Soccer side FC Dallas.
The 34-year-old rejoined his hometown club for a third spell last November on the understanding that he could move on if offered regular football elsewhere.
However, on the day Wright was undertaking his 10 hour flight to the southern State of Texas, the Blues saw custodian Alex McCarthy sent-off during a 3-1 defeat at Leeds.
The Reading loanee’s one-match suspension means Jewell – whose side have taken just eight points from a possible 45 – is suddenly short of keepers for next Tuesday night’s visit of Championship table-toppers West Ham to Portman Road.
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Arran Lee-Barrett is likely to return between the sticks, but his confidence may understandably have taken a hit in recent weeks. The 27-year-old – who has played the role of patient understudy during his two-and-a-half years at the club – was reasonably solid during a six-game spell in the team either side of Christmas following David Stockdale’s recall by Fulham.
However, after being caught off his line in the 3-1 FA Cup defeat at Hull, Jewell moved to bring in McCarthy on a 93-day ‘emergency’ loan from Reading, with the 22-year-old failing to convince in subsequent games against Birmingham, Blackpool and Leeds.
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Eighteen-year-old American Cody Cropper – the club’s only other professional keeper – is still recovering from knee surgery, leaving 17-year-old academy keeper Conor O’Donnell – a Republic of Ireland youth international – as the next option.
Released by Sheffield United last summer, Wright trained at Ipswich without pay until Jewell decided to hand him a short-term deal last November. That offer only came following an injury to Stockdale and reported interest elsewhere in Wright’s signature though.
He made his ‘third debut’ for the Blues in the 3-2 home defeat to Reading – conceding two stoppage-time goals – then lost his place due to a shoulder injury sustained in training and has failed to feature since then.