No injury but no Richard Wright either

RICHARD Wright's glaring absence from Ipswich Town's Championship squad, for the first time since his return to Portman Road 15 months ago, was not due to injury.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

RICHARD Wright's glaring absence from Ipswich Town's Championship squad, for the first time since his return to Portman Road 15 months ago, was not due to injury.

It was no big surprise that Wright lost his place to new arrival Asmir Begovic, who arrived on loan from Portsmouth on Thursday.

But it was a shock that the ex-England, Arsenal, Everton and West Ham keeper was not even in the 16-man squad. Manager Roy Keane chose to name the inexperienced Arran Lee-Barrett as his substitute keeper.

“When you leave a goalkeeper out, everyone asks you why,” insisted Keane.

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“Richard Wright was not injured, but then Colin Healy was not injured, and Owen Garvan was not injured either.

“I gave the new keeper (Begovic) a chance today, and he'll be better for this game.

“I don't think he had a chance with the goal, and he didn't have too much to do. I can't recall him making any saves.

“I suppose some people might be surprised that Richard (Wright) was not on the bench, but then I like to surprise people now and then.

“I'll be judged by my decisions. Whether I'm right or wrong will ultimately make or break my time at Ipswich.

“I made my decision after training yesterday (Friday). That's when I named the team.

“I know Richard Wright and his reaction will be first class. You shouldn't read anything into it. It's good for players to recharge their batteries and chill out for one or two days.

“Sometimes, if you're going to leave a keeper out, it can be best to leave him out of the squad completely, to give them a rest. He will come back on Monday refreshed,” added Keane.

The Town boss thought that his side did enough to win the game, especially on the back of an encouraging second-half display.

“We were poor in the first half, and gave a bad goal away, but we had good chances in the second half,” continued Keane.

“I thought we should have won the game. When you get chances you should take them.

“My players thought their boy (Craig Beattie) was offside, but then they would do. At least we responded well, and I thought our fans got behind us.

“I still think we're making progress, but we need the results. Watching today, you wouldn't think that we were bottom of the league.

“It's not all doom and gloom here. We have something to build on.”

Keane praised Pablo Counago for his first goal of the season, but he intimated that the Spaniard might not retain his starting berth for both of next week's game against Watford and at Plymouth.

“Counago is a good player, but he's still catching up to speed,” revealed Keane.

“He missed six weeks at the start, including pre-season, and I'm not sure Pablo can play three games in seven days, though I'm sure that he would say that he can!”

Swansea boss Paulo Sousa said: “You need to recognise that Ipswich will not be long in this position in the table. They have a fantastic squad here, and they can be a top team by the end of the season.

“So I'm happy with the point. I thought we controlled the game in the first half and we could have scored more. We had more possession.

“But we were not as direct as I wanted us to be in the second half. However, I'm very proud of what we've done today.

“You need to have a great personality to come here at what is a difficult moment for Ipswich,” added Sousa.

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