Wright: Saints were my saviours

WHILE Southampton fans are grateful to Richard Wright for keeping them up last year, the Blues keeper credits the Saints with his return to Ipswich Town.

Derek Davis

WHILE Southampton fans are grateful to Richard Wright for keeping them up last year, the Blues keeper credits the Saints with his return to Ipswich Town.

Wright went on loan to St Mary's from West Ham at the tail end of last season and during his seven matches kept three clean sheets and pulled of a number of man of the match displays to help them snatch vital relegation-defying points.

He goes back there tonight though looking to produce the same sort of form this time for Town which could leave Southampton facing another relegation scrap.


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The Saints' Championship survival was only confirmed last season on the final day when they beat Sheffield United 3-2, with Jon Stead scoring one for the Blades, but Wright's contribution is fondly remembered on the south coast.

The former England keeper was delighted to help out and it also whetted his appetite for more first team football and prompted his switch the Ipswich.

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Wright said: “I enjoyed my time down there. They gave me the opportunity to play first team football and really appreciated that.

“I was so happy when Southampton stayed up and that last day was a great feeling.

“It was a real team effort and to be part of that was really special.

“Going to Southampton probably paved the way for me to come to Ipswich.

“The manager and scouts saw me play and that led to me coming back.”

Wright had chosen to move to Upton Park the previous summer but found playing time limited to Carling Cup matches and so going to Southampton, and working with his old coach Malcolm Webster, was an uplifting move and he accepts that positive attitude contributed to the late revival, despite the problems the club was suffering in the background.

He said: “The whole situation was not a consideration for me. I knew it was a difficult situation but my mind-set was to go and enjoy it and just play football.

“Hopefully taking that positive attitude helped.

“I was not the only one thinking like that. They brought in other players too. We had Chris Perry and Chris Lucketti for example and they were there just to play football so that helped because we knew if they did go down it would not affect us personally and we didn't have that added pressure.

“We had good team performances. We drew at Charlton when no one expected us to, and the same at West Brom.”

Gareth McAuley and Ben Thatcher will probably miss out with dead legs, while Alan Quinn has a tight hamstring and Jon Walters a cut and bruised head.

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