Striker who slipped Town's net

CHRIS Iwelumo lived in Ipswich, but never got the chance to play for Town during Jim Magilton's era. He puts that down to Alan Lee!

Carl Marston

CHRIS Iwelumo lived in Ipswich, but never got the chance to play for Town during Jim Magilton's era. He puts that down to Alan Lee!

Target man Iwelumo, who will lead Bristol City's front-line at Portman Road tomorrow, believes that the main reason he never signed for Town was due to the presence of like-minded striker Lee.

While Iwelumo was banging in the goals for nearby Colchester United - 35 in 92 league games over two years - there was always the possibility of him moving 16 miles down the road to join Ipswich, especially as his house was in the town.

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The Scotsman had fired the U's into the Championship in 2005-06, and then helped them to 10th spot the following season, before his contract ran out and he opted for a move to Charlton Athletic.

“I lived in Ipswich when I was at Colchester, so I used to drive through every day,” confirmed Iwelumo.

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“There were a few murmurings that Ipswich might be interested. There were bits in the paper and some rumours that they might come in for me.

“But Alan Lee was doing well for Ipswich at the time, and we are two very similar players, target men who are mobile and can score goals.

“There aren't many of us around.

“I was doing well for Colchester, and Alan Lee was doing well for Ipswich.

“Then I signed for Charlton and moved away, to get a house nearer London,” added Iwelumo.

The 31-year-old is currently on the books of Wolves, and this season he realised his dream to play in the Premier League.

However, a rotten run of injuries have restricted him to just eight appearances in the top flight with Wolves, and just two starts, so now he is regaining his form at Bristol City.

Town will certainly have to be on their toes tomorrow.

All eyes might be on ex-Ipswich front-runner Danny Haynes, who has been starring for Bristol City, but fellow striker Iwelumo will also be a big danger at Portman Road.

Iweulmo scored his first goal for the Robins in their surprise 2-1 home win over promotion-chasing West Brom last Sunday.

“Things are looking up. It was nice to score last weekend, because it had been quite a while since my last goal,” continued Iwelumo. “The side has lots of energy, and obviously Haynesy will be eager to do well at his old club.”

Roy Keane's men are looking forward to hosting their first home game in three weeks.

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