Town new boy Ryan Stevenson keen to make his mark

WITH more than 20 tattoos from head to toe, Ryan Stevenson is more Mad Max than Matt Holland.

But the Ipswich new boy has a fighting spirit that should endear himself to the Town faithful.

The �50,000 signing from Hearts was the Blues’ only permanent transfer during an underwhelming January window.

But the 27-year-old Scotsman is looking to make a big impact in the heart of the midfield.

He said: “The least the fans deserve is a 110 per cent when you pull on their strip – I’ll be doing that.

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“I’m Scottish. Football is football, if there’s a tackle there to be won I’ll try and win it. If there’s a header there to be won, I’ll try and win it.

“If there’s an opportunity to try to score a goal I’ll try and do that. I’ll do what I need to do.”

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Stevenson was forced to watch the 5-1 win over West Ham from the sidelines after missing six weeks of football due to his pay dispute with the cash-strapped Edinburgh club.

With Hearts’ problems off-the-pitch and his new club’s difficulties on it, you could be forgiven for wondering why Stevenson chose Ipswich over a host of potential suitors.

But speaking before the win over the Hammers, he insisted: “Listen, I have been in worse positions so it’s not something I’m worried about.

“It (relegation) was one thing I never spoke about with my agent. If you win five or six games, you’re suddenly in a different position and I think with the players and manager we have got here it is only a matter of time before we are looking up the league rather than behind us.”

Decked with tattoos all over his body, including his neck and knuckles, Stevenson certainly stood out when he met his team mates for the first time at the weekend.

He joked: “I don’t know how many tattoos I have got – 20-something? It was during a mad couple of years but I haven’t had one for a while now – the wife got fed up and put her foot down.”

“I came in to Ipswich and Jimmy (Bullard) was already on my case. But he’s been really good – they all have actually. It’s always the same when you go to a new job, you’re always a bit nervous, sitting there in the corner not really knowing what to say.

“But it seems a really good dressing room and they’ve all made me feel welcome.”

Stevenson put pen to paper on a 18-month contract – but he is already planning to impress Paul Jewell enough to sort out an extended deal this summer.

He explained: “Being the sort of person I am, the last thing I want to do is come in and not play. There are too many players these days that just hang around in squads picking up their money – I’m not that sort of player.

“If I can force myself in and do well then maybe we’ll sit down and look at extending it in the summer.”

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