Town skipper looking forward to playing with Drury

IPSWICH Town acting skipper Grant Leadbitter is looking forward to playing beside Andy Drury in today’s npower Championship fixture against in-form Hull City at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm).

The 27-year-old is expected to make his full Football League debut in place of the unavailable Jimmy Bullard having been signed from Blue Square Premier Luton Town last month.

It is set to be a big day for Drury with Ipswich also without regular skipper David Norris because of injury.

“We are missing quality players in Jimmy and David and against a very good side in Hull,” said Leadbitter.

“The manager has brought in Andy Drury and he has looked sharp in training, while Colin Healy has come in the last month and played very well.

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“This shows that we can deal with setbacks.

“I’m looking forward to playing alongside Andy having been impressed with him.

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“There is talk of him coming from non-league, but he has that hunger about him, which he installs throughout the squad.

“Andy keeps us all on our toes. He wouldn’t be at Ipswich Town if he wasn’t a good player.

“Jimmy is Jimmy. He has had a definite impact on the dressing room. He’s a very good player, and since day one has been outstanding.

“Bringing players of Jimmy’s calibre to the football club bears well for all of us.”

Leadbitter was quick to talk down any suggestions of reaching the play-offs with fans now looking upwards after four wins in the last five league games.

“The manager has told us to keep our feet on the ground, and he’s right,” added Leadbitter.

“As far as I am concerned you can discard the play-offs. They are a long, long way off.

“I suppose if we win our last 16 games then we will have a chance, but it’s a long way off. There’re a lot of teams above us.

“I’m not looking at the play-offs or relegation, but looking to build for next season.

“A month ago everyone was talking about relegation so you can’t look too far ahead. Now because we’ve won a few games everyone is excited.

“We just need to calm down.”

Leadbitter says that he will be fit after suffering a hamstring twinge that led to him coming off early on Tuesday.

Town have a game at QPR on Tuesday and then entertain Portsmouth a week today. Nine points from the next treble of games and safety will have been reached with 50 points, and any play-off talk will become more realistic.

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