Winger Roberts fit and raring to go

IPSWICH Town's out of favour wide player Gary Roberts today insisted: “I am fit and raring to go.”The 23-year-old has currently lost his place in the Blues Coca-Cola Championship side to Billy Clarke, but answered critics who have queried his fitness.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town's out of favour wide player Gary Roberts today insisted: “I am fit and raring to go.”

The 23-year-old has currently lost his place in the Blues Coca-Cola Championship side to Billy Clarke, but answered critics who have queried his fitness.

“I am totally fit,” said Roberts. “The stats show I do more running than others during games and the gaffer is well aware of this.

“I have had meetings with him and I know he has confidence in me.

“I am settled in this part of the world and the club is spot on. It will be working hard and get my place back.”

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Roberts' career has been a roller coaster ride.

Despite his current dip, the Ipswich left-sided midfielder has confirmed his determination to reach the top at Portman Road.

He said: “At the moment the chips might be down.

“But I am happy with Ipswich and want to stay. It is up to me to make sure that I do.”

Roberts' time in football has seen him drop from the heady heights of Liverpool down to non-league Denby Town, Bala Town, Rhyl, Bangor City and Welshpool.

He must have seriously wondered whether he had a future in the game as he journeyed around the Welsh countryside.

A move to Accrington Stanley put Roberts back on track, and Blues boss Jim Magilton liked what he saw last season and originally signed the player on loan before making the move permanent last January.

This represented a high for Roberts, and after all the lows he has suffered he vowed to make the most of the chance Magilton had given him.

And this is still the case.

“Nobody wants it more than me,” said Roberts.

“The manager has been good to me although my confidence has dipped - and it is not something that you can just put right.

“It is an upstairs thing.

“No player likes being dropped, and I am no different.

“But what it means is that you have to work hard to try and win your place back.

“Time will tell whether a break away from the first team will do me good.

“I began the season well with a goal and two assists, but now it is back to basics.”

Roberts would love to be in the starting line-up for Tuesday's home Championship match against neighbours Colchester United having experienced the game against Town's Essex neighbours last season.

“There is no better feeling than running out in front of a packed house at Portman Road,” said Roberts.

“There is something extra special about Norwich City game, but Colchester is not far behind.”

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