Stern seeks permanent deal

STERN John would have no hesitation in signing a permanent deal with Ipswich Town, if the opportunity was to arise in January.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

STERN John would have no hesitation in signing a permanent deal with Ipswich Town, if the opportunity was to arise in January.

John's debut for Town coincided with the club's first away win of the season, thanks to a 2-1 success at Cardiff City on Sunday.

The Crystal Palace loanee impressed with his bustling performance up front, and he is expected to retain his place for this Saturday's trip to Bristol City.

Palace's financial troubles have not helped John's cause at Selhurst Park, and so the 33-year-old would jump at the chance to make his loan move permanent with Town.

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He is currently on loan until the end of the year, which equates to just five more games. He will not be allowed to play against his parent Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

"The chance to come to Ipswich was out of the blue," admitted John.

"But it didn't take me long to decide to come here. I have to take one step at a time, and see what happens in January, but for sure I'd like to stay longer.

"It didn't worry me coming here that the club was in the bottom three.

The incentive is to get out of it.

"My contract at Crystal Palace ends next summer, though with a possible one-year extension depending on appearances. But I'm a million miles away from that.

"The club has financial problems, and it's in a tricky situation.

"I dislocated my elbow during the first game of the season, and I've been working my socks off to try and get back. I've had a few games, but I feel really fit and I felt good after the 90 minutes (at Cardiff)," added John.

Trinidad-born John, who has played more than 100 games for his country, began his career in England with Nottingham Forest.

He went on to play for Birmingham, where he enjoyed some Premier League action, before moving on to Coventry City, Sunderland, Southampton and Palace.

He has also celebrated promotion from the Championship while at Birmingham and later Sunderland, under Keane.

John confirmed: "I played under Roy (Keane) at Sunderland, so I know what he wants. He got the best out of me.

"A few of the players who have never worked with him might be uncomfortable to start with, but I know that if you put the work in, you'll get the results.

"And I know what it takes to get out of the Championship."

John started alongside Tamas Priskin at Cardiff, before teaming up with substitute Jon Stead during the second half. He missed a couple of first-half chances, but was generally a handful for Cardiff's back-line.

"I was delighted with the game. I thought we played really well and deserved the win," continued John.

"Of course we rode our luck at times, but we weathered the storm and we felt at half-time, even though we were a goal down, that the next team who scored would win the match.

"I'm surprised that Ipswich Town are down there (third-from-bottom), but then the Championship can be a very funny division. If you don't respect it, then you can struggle.

"But hopefully we can take momentum from the Cardiff win.

"You're only as good as your last game, and we'll be taking a lot of confidence into the Bristol City game," concluded John, who had a loan spell at Ashton Gate a year ago.