Roberts aims to win back Town place

GARY Roberts is determined to prove a few doubters wrong and earn his place back in the Blues starting side.

Carl Marston

GARY Roberts is determined to prove a few doubters wrong and earn his place back in the Blues starting side.

Roberts has been in scintillating form in pre-season and is hoping that will continue so that he can convince manager Jim Magilton to take him off the transfer list.

The £220,000 signing from Accrington Stanley scored a stunning volley and set up a couple of other goals in the 7-0 win over Cliftonville on Monday night and has shone in games against Brentford and Bury Town.

He is showing the sort of form that lit up Portman Road when he first arrived on loan almost 20 months ago and earned him a contract.

Roberts said: “That is what I can do. It is what I did when I first got to Ipswich but for some reason I stopped doing it so it is down to me to put that right.”

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Although there have been inquiries from a number of clubs, including Crewe and Accrington Stanley, over the past few months, Roberts believes he can still convinced Magilton he has a Town future.

He said: “It would be great if I can change his mind. The manager has given me the opportunity and this summer we all have a level playing field.

“So I have got my head down and if that works then great, if not then I will move on and go to a different club but I'm hoping to change his mind.

“I have a good relationship with the manager. It is not like we have fallen out. I just had a bad season so it is up to me to put it right.

“He bought me - he knows what I can do.

“There have been a few other clubs interested but my preferred choice is to stay and play in Ipswich's first team.”

Roberts admits his slump in form last year culminated in a loss of confidence which he has found hard to build back up.

He said: “I feel fit and a little bit sharper than I have for 18 months now.

“The confidence is coming back but it is hard when you are not playing well and the fans have a bit of a go and you get down.

“You know yourself you are not playing well but in pre-season it all starts off again afresh and hopefully I can show what I can do.”

The 24-year-old has made 59 appearances for Town, scoring four goals.