Stephen Hunt happy to sign a permanent contract at Ipswich Town

Stephen Hunt

Stephen Hunt - Credit: Archant

Stephen Hunt is keen to sign to sign a permanent contract at Ipswich Town and reignite his career at Portman Road.

The 32-year-old was reunited with his former Wolves boss Mick McCarthy last month, signing a short-term ‘pay as you play’ deal.

And despite making just one start in the six games he has been available for, the winger has been impressed with the way the Blues have surged up the Championship table with 13 points from a possible 18 since his arrival.

“I’m on the right road to getting signed soon if all goes well,” said the Irishman. “I’m happy. I don’t want to go anywhere else.

“After being released by Wolves, there was a bit of messing about – contracts being offered and then taken away – I had to get back into football ASAP.

“I called Mick, saying I would play for free and would just accept appearance money.

“He agreed. I arrived here on the Thursday, after a six-and-a-half-hour car journey from Ireland, signed on the Friday and played on a Saturday (at Blackpool).”

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Hunt hasn’t been selected for a Republic of Ireland squad since Giovanni Trappatoni’s side crashed out of Euro 2012, but the 32-cap veteran is determined to return to the international fold.

“In some respects, the Euros cost me a year and a half of my career,” said Hunt, who didn’t make an appearance at the Poland and Ukraine based tournament as Ireland suffered defeats to Croatia, Spain and Italy in the group stages.

“I put off having the (hip) surgery I needed. Everything in my life was geared towards the Euros.

“Playing in a major tournament meant the world to me and it is fair to say that was the same for the rest of the squad. Richard (Dunne), Shay (Given) and I played through injury to get there.

“I want to show Martin O’Neill what I can do. I want to play for Ireland again.”

He added: “I’m at my best when I am backed into a corner. I had to stand up for myself when the fans went for me last season (following some early poor form after his return from injury at Wolves).

“The next time I played, I knew I had to prove myself to them.

“I was on the front foot and that is when I play well, when I have to fight and I won three or four man of the matches in a row.

“It is the same now at Ipswich. I am on a short-term contract and doing well.

“When the going gets tough, I show people what I can do. There is no reason why, come March, I cannot repeat that in an Irish shirt because any player who is doing it in the Championship deserves to be knocking on the door of our international team.

“I want Martin O’Neill to know I haven’t gone away.”

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