Wright's sympathy for ex-deputy Supple

RICHARD Wright today revealed that he has gone through the same agony that made his former Ipswich Town deputy Shane Supple quit the game.

Elvin King

RICHARD Wright today revealed that he has gone through the same agony that made his former Ipswich Town deputy Shane Supple quit the game.

Wright has been a regular in the Blues goal since Jim Magilton brought him back to Portman Road in the summer of 2008, and last weekend he made his 350th Town appearance.

But while with Arsenal, Everton and West Ham from the summer of 2001 following his initial �6million move to the Gunners, the two-cap England international was often an almost constant fixture on the substitutes' bench.

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Wright will be looking to keep his second clean sheet of the season when he faces second-in-the-Championship Newcastle United at Portman Road tomorrow (kick-off 5.30pm).

Supple walked away from the game last month and is now living back in his native Dublin and looking to pursue other interests.

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“Shane was 23 and had plenty of years to show what he could do in the game,” said Wright.

“His decision came as a complete surprise to me after he texted for me to call him on the morning the news broke.

“Shane always worked his socks off in training, and I can only admire him for making such a brave decision.

“He could have still carried on picking up his wages.

“But I know from experience that you cannot always enjoy the game when you are on the bench. I can understand where he was coming from.

“When you win you do not feel the same as the lads who took part in the game. You work hard all week but don't really feel part of it, and it can be tough.”

Wright now has locally-raised Arran Lee-Barrett as his number two, and he says that the former Hartlepool United regular is maintaining what Supple did - keeping him on his toes.

It is a big week for Ipswich as they look to move up the table with a trip to Sheffield United on Tuesday and then back to South Yorkshire for a game at Barnsley tomorrow week.

“Things are improving,” added Wright. “But we need to shut up shop at the back.

“We know that we have to do better defensively, and I include myself in that. I don't hide behind anything.

“You have to take the positives out of every game, and although we did not win we scored three goals away from home at Doncaster last Saturday. That's a positive.

“And at least we have got something out of our last couple of games (also 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest).

“It's a tough, tough week coming up. We have played a lot of the big games early on, but we have to match these clubs because we are very ambitious ourselves.

“Our new boys have settled in quite well. Grant Leadbitter has come in and given us some much-needed aggression in midfield.”

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