Thoroughbred Lee wants firm going

LIKE a pure thoroughbred Alan Lee is looking forward to the 'good to firm' pitches coming up as the weather improves.

Derek Davis

LIKE a pure thoroughbred Alan Lee is looking forward to the 'good to firm' pitches coming up as the weather improves.

Lee banged in seven goals in the early part of the season but readily admits the heavier going hampered him as an old injury came back to haunt him.

Now a refreshed Lee is looking to finish the season stronger, and believes the better pitches will suit Ipswich's free flowing football too.

Lee said: “The muddy pitches never helped me as a big man. We played on some bad pitches and that never helped us.

“But the better firmer pitches will only help our style of play. We like to pass it and play good football and dodgy pitches are not the ideal surfaces.”

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Lee is hoping for a repeat of last season's run in when they showed promotion form by winning their last seven homes games, and a couple away in March.

He said: “I will be looking for us to have a similar run in as we did last year. We are very ambitious and we know what is expected of us and I can assure everyone Premiership football is our goal too.”

The former Cardiff City and Rotherham striker has put a slump behind him and his winner to end the miserable away run at Sheffield Wednesday proved to be a big confidence booster for him and his team-mates.

Lee said: “Let's face it we needed an away win and watching from the bench I could see the lads were playing well and thought 'we can go on and win this'. Then I got on and had the chance which came from a great knock down by Alan (Quinn) and I was ecstatic.”

Lee has looked like his old self in the past couple of weeks and puts that down to being pulled out of the firing line.

He said: “In the past couple of weeks I have been back in full training and felt sharp whereas before I had concerns about my Achilles tendon.

“It has been bad a couple of times before and it has taken a couple of weeks to get better.

“With all the games in December, playing twice a week on the muddy pitches was the last thing I wanted and it took its toll.”

Lee was honest enough to admit he was struggling and instead of training playing was given careful rehab.

He said: “It got to the stage where it was getting serious and I said to the manager that I really can't play to the best of my ability and I was glad of the rest.

“It has paid off and I'm able to train and I feel really good.”

The new additions have also prompted a positive response and Lee feels all the signings have fitted in well.

He said: “The new signing have been huge on so many levels.

David Norris had a lot of people after him and he is a very good player who is worth every penny.

“Alan was less talked about but I know what a quality player he is from our time in the international team too.

“Shumi has impressed everyone already and the good thing is they have all settled like snow.

“We also have two big, experienced keepers who are helping us too.”

With the transfer window closed Lee can't go anywhere anyway, unless in the unlikely event he goes out on loan somewhere, but he admitted the speculation surrounding a possible move to Burnley affected him in January even though he made it clear even then that he never had any intention of leaving.

Lee said: “I can't pretend it was not unsettling because friends and even people on the street are always asking. But it would be more worrying if no one wanted to sign me. That said it would suit me fine if there were no speculation because I'm happy here.”

Lee has nine goals this season and is looking to catch top scorer Jon Walters who has 11 and Pablo Counago who is on 10.