'Roberts has chance to win place back'
JIM Magilton has opened the door for Gary Roberts to win back his regular first team starting sport.Transfer-listed Roberts is enjoying a sparkling pre-season campaign scoring and making goals for fun.
JIM Magilton has opened the door for Gary Roberts to win back his regular first team starting sport.
Transfer-listed Roberts is enjoying a sparkling pre-season campaign scoring and making goals for fun.
In the three warm-up matches so far Town have netted 12 goals without reply and Roberts has impressed in all, scoring and making two goals in the first half as Ipswich beat Cliftonville 7-0 in Belfast on Monday.
Magilton has an open mind about whether to keep Roberts or move him on.
He said: “Gary has got a chance. He's looked sharp all pre-season - he has come back lean and fit and he has done very well.
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“We're looking for competition for places. He is going to put pressure on whoever he is vying for a place with.
“It's a clean slate for everyone when they come back for pre-season.
“There are always people that emerge and he is definitely emerging as a strong candidate for starting games.”
Roberts is determined to seize his chance.
He said: “That is what I can do. It is what I did when I first got to Ipswich but for some reason I stopped doing it so it is down to me to put that right.”
Although there have been enquiries from a number of clubs, including Crewe and Accrington Stanley over the past few months, Roberts believes he can still convince Magilton he has a Town future.
He said: “It would be great if I can change his mind.
“The manager has given me the opportunity and this summer we all have a level playing field.
“So I have got my head down and if that works then great, if not then I will move on and go to a different club but I'm hoping to change his mind.
“I have a good relationship with the manager. It is not like we have fallen out. I just had a bad season so it is up to me to put it right.
“He bought me - he knows what I can do.
“There have been a few other clubs interested but my preferred choice is to stay and play in Ipswich's first team.”
Roberts admits his slump in form last year culminated in a loss of confidence which he has found hard to build back up.
He said: “I feel fit and a little bit sharper than I have for 18 months now.
“The confidence is coming back but it is hard when you are not playing well and the fans have a bit of a go and you get down.
“You know yourself you are not playing well but in pre-season it all starts off again afresh and hopefully I can show what I can do.”
The 24-year-old has made 59 appearances for Town scoring four goals.