Stephen Henderson hopes his long-term future is at West Ham not Ipswich Town
IPSWICH Town goalkeeper Stephen Henderson admits he sees his long-term future at parent club West Ham.
The 24-year-old was brought to Portman Road on a three-month loan by previous boss Paul Jewell soon after summer signing Scott Loach had made two high-profile errors in a 2-1 home defeat to Cardiff City.
Retaining his place in the team under new manager Mick McCarthy, the 6ft 2in Irishman has so far conceded 11 goals in five appearances for the club.
And like fellow short-term additions Nigel Reo-Coker, Richie Wellens and Massimo Luongo, his time at Portman Road looks like it will be very much temporary.
Henderson – who was a target of Jewell’s before his summer switch from Portsmouth – has made just two League Cup appearances for the Hammers so far.
Asked if he saw his future at Upton Park, he said: “I hope so because I’ve only been there five or six months. It’s a great club and somewhere I’d love to establish myself as the number one goalkeeper.
“Ipswich is a great club too, but I want to be a Premier League goalkeeper.”
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Currently behind 37-year-old Jussi Jaaskelainen in the pecking order, Henderson – who has been replaced on the West Ham bench by 19-year-old Swiss custodian Raphael Spiegel – continued: “It has been frustrating (not playing more for West Ham), but it’s down to myself that I’m not in their team at the minute. I haven’t done enough and I’ll be the first to admit that.
“It’s probably for the best because there are a lot of keepers who have gone into the Premier League and it’s not worked out for them. It’s not meant to be at the minute.
“I’d like to think it can still happen for me there because I signed a four-year contract. I don’t think they want me out just yet – it’s up to me to show them what I can do.”
Asked what he would do if McCarthy wanted to sign him permanently come the January transfer window, Henderson added: “Funny enough someone said that to me about 10 minutes ago. I don’t know – I’ve only just signed for West Ham.
“I’ll have to think about that if the situation arises. I’m just taking each game as it comes.”
And with boyhood Town fan Scott Loach on the bench so soon after his dream summer switch to Portman Road, Henderson admits he is not taking his place in the Blues team for granted.
He said: “Scott is a top Championship goalie. One slip up and he’s going to be breathing down my neck, but that’s what I want. I won’t be taking anything for granted.
“He’s been fully behind me and I would do the same for him.”