Bonus contract for young keeper

ARRAN Lee-Barrett has been a big plus for Ipswich Town this season, but Roy Keane insists that Town have been good for him as well.Promising keeper Lee-Barrett looks set to sign a new contract next week, before his current deal expires.

Carl Marston

by Carl Marston

ARRAN Lee-Barrett has been a big plus for Ipswich Town this season, but Roy Keane insists that Town have been good for him as well.

Promising keeper Lee-Barrett looks set to sign a new contract next week, before his current deal expires.


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Thrust into the limelight, due to loanee Asmir Begovic's return to Portsmouth and Richard Wright's long-term knee injury at the end of November, Lee-Barrett is now installed as Town's No. 1.

The 25-year-old will be facing his old club this afternoon, when Coventry City are the visitors to Portman Road, after which he will sit down with his boss.

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"We'll be having talks with Arran next week, and I'm sure that he will fight his corner," revealed Keane yesterday.

"He's done very well for us, but you must remember that we've done very well for Arran as well!

"Four or five months ago, he was in no man's land. He was living down the road from the ground and rang up to ask me whether he could come in for training.

"He was the No. 3 choice at the time, but now he's the No. 1 and he's also doing the business for us.

"His new contract should not be a problem. The only issue might be the length of it. I've always said that getting a contract is the easy part, it's what happens afterwards that counts," added Keane.

Ipswich-born Lee-Barrett, who was at Hartlepool last season before being released last summer, will relish a chance to impress against Coventry, the club who signed him but never gave him a chance.

He was initially recruited by the Sky Blues on loan during the 2006-07 season, as emergency cover for Luke Steele following an injury to Andy Marshall, before signing a short-term contract until the end of that campaign.

However, he was not offered a new deal, and so left the Ricoh Arena without making a first team appearance.

Even though Lee-Barrett is poised to sign a new contract, and fellow keeper Brian Murphy is hoping to recover from ankle ligament damage within the next week or two, which he sustained in the warm-up at Leicester last weekend, Keane is still targetting a third keeper.

The Irishman confirmed: "Wrighty (Richard Wright) is written off for most of the season. He might possibly come back before the end of the season, but I'm still looking for another keeper because I like to have three keepers."

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