Lee: I'm happy to be here

NEW striker Alan Lee today looked around Portman Road and said: “I am so happy to be here.“It is a great stadium and I am sure playing for Ipswich Town will give my career a boost.

By Elvin King

NEW striker Alan Lee today looked around Portman Road and said: “I am so happy to be here.

“It is a great stadium and I am sure playing for Ipswich Town will give my career a boost.

“This is a step up for me and I can't wait to get on that pitch and do what I can to lift Ipswich up the Championship table.

“Everything I have seen so far has been so very impressive, and Ipswich are a big club who look to have everything in place to move forward.

“The manager says that he still sees promotion as a possibility this season - and to get to the Premiership would be a dream come true for me.”

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The 27-year-old is to sign a two and half year contract after Town agreed a £100,000 fee with Cardiff City.

Personal terms have been agreed between Ipswich and the player, and the Republic of Ireland international was having a

medical this morning.

Lee, who was previously with Burnley and Rotherham, is expected to make his debut against Sheffield United at Portman Road this Saturday.

Royle said: “This is a big step forward for us. We are defending better these days and have a full complement of midfield players.

“Alan will give us a physical presence up front, and he is an international player.

“Nicky Forster and Sam Parkin will look forward to playing with him, and if we can start hitting the back of the net we can move up the Championship table.

“Nicky and Sam have played together just six times because of injuries. If they had been paired another ten times we could have expected another six or seven goals that would now see us in a play-off position.

“Alan has always done well against us, although his time at Cardiff has not gone as well as he would have liked.

“Like Shefki Kuqi we plan to kickstart his career. He does not have the same pace, but Alan can run all day like the Finn.”

Cardiff, who paid £850,000 for Lee, have just signed Scotland international Steven Thompson from Rangers and Darlington's Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu.

Lee is Town's fourth permanent signing since the transfer window opened in January after taking Gavin Williams from West Ham for £300,000, Adam Proudlock on a free from Sheffield Wednesday and Norwegian midfielder Vemund Brekke-Skard from Brummendal on a Bosman free.

n IPSWICH manager Joe Royle has today told 33-year-old midfielder Kevin Horlock that he can leave Portman Road.

The midfielder, who has been promoted three times to the Premiership, has been given permission to talk to other clubs with a view to moving out during the transfer window.

Referring to Horlock, Royle said: “With the signings of Gavin and Vemund and the emergence of Owen Garvan and Jimmy Juan we are well stocked with

midfielders.

“Kevin is being given the chance to seek another club, but if he is still here when the window closes he will continue to be in my first team plans.

“If he does move I am sure Kevin will give another club at least two years of sterling service. He is now fully fit.”

Horlock was signed on a free from West Ham in the summer of 2004 and has made 52 appearances - and is still searching for his first Town goal.

Garvan did not train yesterday as he picked up a dead leg on Saturday, while strikers Nicky Forster, Adam Proudlock and Dean Bowditch are given little chance of being fit to face Sheffield United. Bowditch has the best chance.

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