Stephen Hunt: Thank God I didn’t join Blackpool

Stephen Hunt (far right) celebrates wildly after Ipswich Town secured a dramatic 3-2 win at Blackpoo

Stephen Hunt (far right) celebrates wildly after Ipswich Town secured a dramatic 3-2 win at Blackpool last season. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD - Credit: Archant

Stephen Hunt believes he has had the last laugh when it came to his bitter fall-out with Blackpool.

The Irish midfielder was on the verge of signing for the Tangerines little more than a year ago, but ending up walking away following what he felt was a disrespectful last-minute moving of the goalposts.

Instead he joined Ipswich Town on a pay-as-you-play deal, celebrating wildly in the direction of the directors’ box as the Blues secured a dramatic 3-2 win at Bloomfield Road on his debut.

Town head to Blackpool again tomorrow with both teams at opposite ends of the table. While Mick McCarthy’s side are just five points behind league-leaders Derby, the Tangerines are rock-bottom having claimed just six points from a possible 42.

“Thank God I didn’t join them,” said Hunt.

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“Listen, it worked out for the best because I’m happy where I am now. I’m delighted to be at Ipswich.

“It’s gone now. I’m delighted to be at Ipswich and to be pushing for the Premier League. That’s where I want to be again.”

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Reflecting on his reaction at Bloomfields last November, the 32-year-old said: “It was just a matter of letting all my emotions out.

“For them to do what they did to me I just thought was disrespectful to a professional footballer. It wasn’t pretty.

“We had agreed a deal, I turned up and said I’d do a two-day medical.

“My agent travelled up from London to complete the deal, then when he got there the deal had been swivelled around. We decided to walk away out of principle.

“It was never about money. I proved that by playing here for free for six weeks, only getting appearance money.

“I had a clear conscience about the whole thing, put it like that.”

Paul Ince was in charge of Blackpool back then, but Barry Ferguson ended up seeing the season out as caretaker boss, with summer recruit Jose Riga dismissed on Monday after the club’s poor start to the campaign.

Recently sacked Birmingham manager Lee Clark was appointed yesterday and Hunt said that could impact the game.

“Facing a team with a new manager is an absolute nightmare,” he said. “They’ll be up for it, so we’ll have to try and kill that early on by getting a goal if we can.”

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