December 12 2013 Latest news:
By Dave Gooderham
Monday, January 14, 2013
THE motives were obvious.
Midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker signed a three-month deal with Ipswich Town for the explicit reason of getting fit to secure a move to a ‘bigger’ club in January.
Blues owner Marcus Evans and Paul Jewell, then Ipswich manager, would have known what Reo-Coker wanted to achieve and they were happy to go along with his desires.
Town were bottom and in desperate need of experienced Championship pros, and if Reo-Coker left Portman Road with the Blues moving away from trouble, everyone would have been a winner.
For that reason, you could say it was mission accomplished.
But the 28-year-old former Premier League midfielder will not go down in the annals of the club’s best signings.
Taking time to find his fitness, former Aston Villa and Bolton man, Reo-Coker showed all too brief flashes of his assured and composed manner.
Too often, he looked one-paced with his passes, like many of his displays, lacking any penetration.
The fact he was, at times, preferred to fans favourite Luke Hyam, spending too long berating team-mates, while his own displays were below-par, just added to his problems.
He did show flashes of quality, however.
He certainly made a difference when Town were looking to close games out at Charlton Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
But should he have been offered a deal beyond the summer? No.
The jury was still out on Reo-Coker and judging by his performances over his 11 games for Ipswich, the midfielder’s plan might have backfired.
Of the departing 28-year-old, the Blues boss said: “He came in suited and booted and ready to go with the team (to Cardiff), but he wants a longer-term contract. I said ‘that’s fine, if that’s the case then go home and I’ll go with the lads that I’ve got’.