10-goal Lisbie could be answer for Blues

By Stuart WatsonKEVIN Lisbie could become the latest Ipswich Town player to be handed a second chance by manager Roy Keane.The Irishman has handed the quintet of Owen Garvan, Gareth McAuley, Damien Delaney, Jon Stead and David Wright reprieves in recent weeks and all five have capitalised on their opportunities as Town have put together a 10-game undefeated run.

Stuart Watson

By Stuart Watson

KEVIN Lisbie could become the latest Ipswich Town player to be handed a second chance by manager Roy Keane.

The Irishman has handed the quintet of Owen Garvan, Gareth McAuley, Damien Delaney, Jon Stead and David Wright reprieves in recent weeks and all five have capitalised on their opportunities as Town have put together a 10-game undefeated run.

Now, with the defence looking tight, the missing piece to the jigsaw appears to be a goalscorer - and returning employee Lisbie could yet be the man to fire the Blues up the Championship table.

The 31-year-old has been in irrepressible form in his second spell at the U's. He currently tops the Essex club's goalscoring charts with 10, despite the fact he has spent the majority of the season playing on the right wing.

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And with U's boss Aidy Boothroyd confirming that the Essex club has not yet tabled a bid for their on-loan star, Keane may yet change his mind over cashing in on his asset and give him another opportunity in a Town shirt.

Ipswich have failed to score in three of their last five games - only rock-bottom Plymouth having scored fewer goals in the league than Town's 21 so far this season - and Keane may yet decide to call upon the experienced Lisbie, who scored 17 goals in the 2007/8 season as Colchester were relegated from the Championship.

“I've spoken to Roy (Keane) and we are both in agreement that Kevin is their player and he's going to go back in January,” confirmed Boothroyd. “It's up to us now, the ball's in our court, and we've got to see if we can match their valuation and do something. I get on well with Roy - we've got a mutual understanding. He might put him back in their team yet and, as he's an Ipswich player, we would have to accept that.”

Many Town fans remain unconvinced about Lisbie's abilities at Championship level after he failed to set the pulses racing at Portman Road last season. He scored just seven goals in 45 appearances in the 2008/9 season following his �600,000 switch from the club's Essex neighbours.

Lisbie - who still has 18 months of his three-year Town contract to run - was allowed to rejoin the U's on a proposed season-long loan this summer after failing to sufficiently impress Keane during the Irishman's first pre-season at Portman Road.

The striker revealed in early October that he was loving his time back at Colchester and that he did not want to play for Ipswich again. That led to an irked Keane immediately claiming that the striker would be recalled for sale in January, before Lisbie hit back by saying he was 'being treated like a piece of meat'.

Keane challenged Colchester to give him a phone call about Lisbie on two occasions this month, but the U's - having finally made contact - are maintaining a poker face at present and are waiting to see how others play their hand.

The Essex club's wealthy chairman and owner Robbie Cowling has previously said the club will 'do everything they can' to keep Lisbie at the club, but he also admitted that they may find it hard to compete financially with any interested Championship clubs.

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