Donacien to get chance to win Ipswich Town right-back spot next season
PUBLISHED: 17:07 29 May 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Janoi Donacien will be given the chance to fight for the Ipswich Town right-back slot ahead of next season, we understand.
Former Town manager Paul Hurst signed the defender to play at right-back last summer but, following his arrival in October, current boss Paul Lambert revealed he saw Donacien as a central defender before ultimately loaning him back to former club Accrington Stanley without playing a single minute under the Scot.
However, it's now understood the defender has been told he will be given the opportunity to win the right-back position as well as providing cover at left-back.
Josh Emmanuel is the only right-back with real senior experience in the Ipswich Town squad, following the departure of Jordan Spence and the expiration of James Bree's loan deal.
Myles Kenlock is the only left-back in the squad, with Jonas Knudsen departing at the end of his deal and Callum Elder returning to Leicester at the end of his loan.
Donacien endured a roller coaster first season as an Ipswich player, joining initially on loan in July but having to wait until January for his move to become permanent due to ongoing work permit issues.
Just days after those issues were resolved, giving the Saint Lucia-born defender permanent leave to remain in the UK, he was loaned back to Accrington and played the rest of the season there as a left back.
"I want to be playing at Ipswich," Donacien said in an interview towards the end of last season.
"The club have signed me and I want to be playing there.
"If the gaffer wants me to play centre-back then I'll do that. If he wants me at right-back then I'll be there."
Donacien was part of the Stanley side which managed to stay in League One last season despite being pulled into a relegation scrap, with the defender well aware of the challenge Ipswich now face in the third tier.
"It's a difficult challenge because Ipswich will be 'the big club' in the league," he said.
"Ipswich would be a massive one in League One. When you are that club everyone wants to beat you and every game is a cup final for the opposition.
"The big thing will be overcoming that tag and beating teams who see you as the big scalp. Everyone will want to beat Ipswich Town."