Stephen Henderson aiming for better at Ipswich Town second time around

Stephen Henderson

Stephen Henderson - Credit: Archant

Blues stopper Stephen Henderson admitted his first loan spell at Portman Road ended on a sour note and is determined to play his part in Town’s Championship survival mission.

In a frank assessment, the West Ham stopper – whose first spell was cut short by injury – insists his own performances were below standard before an abrupt end saw him return to Upton Park.

And, with Town still in a spot of trouble at the bottom – three points off the relegation zone – Henderson, who rejoined Ipswich at the 11th hour after a permanent switch to Blackburn Rovers fell through, feels a chunk of responsibility for the Blues’ current plight.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 goalkeeper experienced a mixed time during his first stint at the club, and was in goal as the Blues lost 5-0 at Crystal Palace and 6-0 at Leicester.

“I always said I wanted to come back, as I did not want to leave on a sour note,” said Henderson, who is expected to keep his place for this weekend’s trip to free-falling Huddersfield.

“Before I left I wasn’t up to scratch and I wanted to return so I could prove that I am a good goalkeeper.

“I have two years left on my contact at West Ham, and obviously they are my parent club, but I want to help us get out of the predicament we are in, especially as I am part of the reason why we are here.”

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Ironically, Henderson’s first start in his second spell back at Ipswich was at Blackburn, the 24-year-old replacing Scott Loach, who sprained a thumb in training.

Had his move to Ewood Park gone through, the former Portsmouth goalkeeper would have instead been lining up against his current team-mates.

“There was a lot going on, on deadline day, and I was very close to joining Blackburn,” revealed Henderson.

“I believe it would have been a permanent move, the clubs agreed a deal, but it got very messy.

“It was a long day, but it was always the plan to come back to Ipswich and Blackburn was just a spanner thrown in the works.”