Richards considers permanent move

MATT RICHARDS is enjoying his third loan spell with Brighton so much he is considering making it a permanent move.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis>

MATT RICHARDS is enjoying his third loan spell with Brighton so much he is considering making it a permanent move.

Out-of-favour at Ipswich Richards he had no qualms about returning to the Seagulls under Micky Adams after two stints there last season with former boss Dean Wilkins.

“I had been speaking to the lads over pre-season and they said they were really enjoying it and the manager is great, so I didn't really hesitate at all.

“I came straight back down here and I haven't looked back since. I was hoping to be involved at Ipswich but it hasn't worked out like that. I tried my hardest in pre-season but it hasn't turned out the best for me there.

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“I am really happy to come back here on loan. I have enjoyed it a lot since I've come back. I think the club has got even better.

“I enjoy the training and we have got off to a great start, so I am really happy here at the moment. We'll take it step by step and see what happens over Christmas.

“I am still just concentrating on playing every week. I haven't really thought about where my permanent future lies. I enjoy it down here, so it would definitely be something I would take into consideration when the time comes.”

It is too early into his latest stint for Richards, or Adams, to fully commit themselves over his long-term future, although the manager likes what he has seen so far.

Richards was pushed forward into left midfield against Bristol Rovers last Saturday and he could stay there tonight, with Kevin McLeod still sidelined by a knee injury.

Adams said: “He has been terrific. He can handle the ball and you would expect that, coming from Ipswich through their Academy.

“He has got great feet and can pass and play. I think he is a good acquisition but I don't make a decision on him after three games. There is still a bit for him to do.”

Ironically, Richards faces another out-of-favour Ipswich left back tonight when Brighton take on Southend with Dan Harding on loan with the Shrimpers.

The career of Albion's on-loan utility player has been interwoven with that of the former Seagull for both club and country but now find themselves as Ipswich outcasts playing in League One.

They are more accustomed to being on the same side, vying for the same role at Ipswich and at international level.

On one occasion former Albion manager Peter Taylor gave them 45 minutes apiece at left-back for England under 21's.

Richards recalls his debut at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium: “We were both in the squad together and both played a half.

“I played the first and he played the second. Unfortunately, after that I got injured, so I wasn't involved in the next couple of squads.

“I didn't play last year at Ipswich but the year before he played at left-back and I was left midfield. We could switch and I think a few times in the reserves he played left midfield and I played left-back.

“It was just healthy competition. We know each other really well and I am good friends with him.

“I'm quite surprised that Dan is still not at Ipswich. He's a great player. He's got a lot of pace and passes the ball really well, so I'm a bit surprised he is not starting there.”

Darlington are hoping to keep Billy Clarke on loan and he too could make the move permanent.