Arran grateful for Wright boost

CROCKED keeper Richard Wright offered his successor, Arran Lee-Barrett, a few words of advice in the build-up to Saturday's goalless draw at Bristol City.

CROCKED keeper Richard Wright offered his successor, Arran Lee-Barrett, a few words of advice in the build-up to Saturday's goalless draw at Bristol City.

Lee-Barrett brushed aside the nerves to crown his first start, in an Ipswich Town shirt, with a clean-sheet. And he was grateful to Wright for his support.

Unfortunately, while Ipswich-born custodian Lee Barrett passed his test with flying colours, his attacking team-mates flopped in front of goal.

“It was a big day for me, and personally I think that I had a tidy game,” enthused Lee-Barrett.

“But as a group we're disappointed that we did not get the three points, which we're capable of.

“I had a few nerves, being a local lad, but I spoke to Wrighty

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(Wright) on Friday. We had a little chat over lunch. He told me that everyone gets nervous, and that it's just a game of football.

“This is a great opportunity for me, but it was not nice to see Wrighty get injured at Cardiff. It's very difficult as a goalkeeper, because there is just one spot up for grabs.

“But Wrighty has been very supportive of me, and Asmir (Begovic) was also a big help during his time at Ipswich. Coming from a Premier League club, he had some new ideas,” added Lee-Barrett.

Although ex-Town striker Danny Haynes struck the post twice for hosts Bristol City, it was Town who created the better opportunities.

Haynes cleared Grant Leadbitter's shot off the goal-line, and substitute Pablo Counago squandered a great chance in the dying minutes. He was denied by ex-Colchester keeper Dean Gerken from close in.

And although Town are now unbeaten in eight matches, they remain stuck in the relegation zone.

Lee-Barrett was more than happy with the defence in front of him.

He continued: “You have to be happy as a goalkeeper and a defender when you keep a clean-sheet. I did the basics right, but I think that I only had to save one shot - and that was not difficult!

“It was different to last week, when suddenly I was coming on for Wrighty. It was like, wow! I just had to get on and get on with it.

“But this time I had the whole week to think about it. The defence did a lot of good work ahead of me, and both Damien (Delaney) and Gaz (Gareth McAuley) were brilliant. Damien spoke to me before kick-off and gave me some words of encouragement.

“My contract is up in January, so I'm just planning to enjoy this month. I want to stay professional, and then it's all down to the club what happens next month,” added Lee-Barrett.

Wright is sidelined for four months, after suffering ligament damage during the previous weekend's 2-1 win at Cardiff. That leaves just Lee-Barrett and teenager Ian McLoughlin as the two fit senior keepers on Town's books.

Youth teamer McLoughlin, who has never played for the first team, was on the bench at Ashton Gate.

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