Grant is at pains to be a winner

YOU only have to see his face at the final whistle.

Elvin King

YOU only have to see his face at the final whistle.

His look of despair and utter dejection that another winning chance has gone to discover how much winning means to Ipswich Town midfielder Grant Leadbitter.

Without doubt Roy Keane's best signing since he took over as Ipswich Town manager, Leadbitter suffered again after the 1-1 draw at Plymouth on Saturday.

He was the Blues best player by some distance being able to do what his team mates find difficult - retain possession.

And at the same time covering his back four and then going forward to wait - often in vain - for his front men to reach his wavelength and make the penetrating runs that he spots naturally.

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The 23-year-old has lost none of his enthusiasm despite the heartbreak he has suffered game after game since his arrival in early September.

“I can't wait for the Derby game on Saturday with our fans behind us,” he said. “In fact, I would love to be playing tomorrow night.

“We are a lot better now than when I first took my place in the team, and I know we will be okay.

“Listen, every team in the Championship has a blip at some stage.

“I know ours has gone on for far too long but we will come out of it a better side.

“It was disappointing to not win at Plymouth, and to be honest we should have won our last four or five games.

“We have some good players in our changing room and not dissimilar to the quality that earned us promotion at Sunderland in 2006/07.

“Trust me it is a good squad and we are moving in the right direction.”

Leadbitter sees no gain in looking back on what might have been.

“We can do nothing about that, but we can do something about our matches coming up - starting with Derby,” added Leadbitter, who is one booking away from a ban and got away with a late talking to by the referee on Saturday.

“We must step forward although you have to keep wondering when that elusive win will come.

“We played well again at Plymouth with their keeper making two or three good first half saves.

“Setbacks we are having to learn to live with. And we must learn from them as well and go that extra few inches to get the wins we know we deserve.”

And ones that Leadbitter will love.

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