Wright keen to return to the top

DAVID Wright once helped to wreck Ipswich Town's Premiership dream - but now he intends to make up for it by helping them achieve their longed-for promotion.

DAVID Wright once helped to wreck Ipswich Town's Premiership dream - but now he intends to make up for it by helping them achieve their longed-for promotion.

Wright was part of the Wigan side that beat the Blues 1-0 in March 2005 to topple them from the top of the Championship.

Ipswich's promotion challenge crumbled while Wright and the Latics went up automatically two months later.

Now Wright has completed his move from the JJB Stadium to Portman Road and yesterday he signed a three-and-a-half year deal.

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Although the fee has been officially given as undisclosed it is believed to be in the region of £250,000 with add-ons.

Wright admitted it was tough to leave Wigan, who are fourth from bottom of the Premiership, but had no hesitation in joining Ipswich after speaking with manager Jim Magilton and looking around the club.

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Wright said: “I was not really playing week-in, week-out and as a footballer you want to be playing every game. Leaving the Premiership was hard but after I spoke with the manager and the chairman here at Ipswich and heard about their ambition I was excited and felt if I was going to leave then this was the right club to come to.

“They want Premiership football and that matches my ambition to go back.”

After performing in front of the relatively small crowds at Crewe and Wigan the lure of 20,000 fans at Portman Road was also a consideration.

Wright said: “Playing here with Crewe was always fantastic. Seeing two footballing sides playing 90 minutes of pure football enjoyed by both sets of fans. It was always a great atmosphere and a great pitch.”

Wright is a ball-playing defender with ingrained good habits learned at Dario Gradi's famous footballing academy and is confident he can bolster the Blues' promotion hopes.

He said: “I have played a lot of games in the Championship and now the Premiership after winning promotion with Wigan, so I can bring that experience to this dressing room.

“My main position is right-back although I have played all along the back four and also in that holding role in midfield.

“I was at Crewe for 14 years from a nine-year-old and the things I learnt there have been priceless.”

Wright was also in the Crewe side that ended Ipswich's run over 18 unbeaten games in the league in February 2000 by winning 2-1 at Portman Road. Town missed out on automatic promotion by three points that season, although they did go up via the play-offs.That match is one manager Jim Magilton remembers all too well.

He said: “If I could have identified a right-back from the start it would have been David Wright.

“We weren't sure of his availability before but as soon as we became aware then we acted quickly and it has all been done in a few days.

“This is a fantastic coup for the club to get David, who is value for money.

“He is coming into his prime and I'm sure the fans will appreciate a player of David's ability.

“This shows we mean business. Whenever he has been here he has been a pain in the backside to us.

“He has been brought up the right way and it is clear his attitude is top class. He will bring that experience and quality into the dressing room and the more we can get like him in the dressing room the better for us.”

Town chief executive Derek Bowden said: “This signals the board's intention to support Jim and further strengthen the squad in this window as we look forward to the second half of the season.

“Hopefully there will me more to come in the coming days and as we have said before we have no reason to sell any players.”

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