Roberts can set division alight - Jim

NEW boy Gary Roberts has the ability to set the Championship alight, Ipswich boss Jim Magilton insisted today.Town fans were given a brief glimpse of the 22-year-old Accrington Stanley winger when he appeared as a late substitute in last night's 3-2 defeat by in-form Preston at Portman Road.

By Mel Henderson

NEW boy Gary Roberts has the ability to set the Championship alight, Ipswich boss Jim Magilton insisted today.

Town fans were given a brief glimpse of the 22-year-old Accrington Stanley winger when he appeared as a late substitute in last night's 3-2 defeat by in-form Preston at Portman Road.

Roberts has signed a three-month loan deal with a view to a permanent transfer in January - and Magilton has no doubts about him making the grade.

He said: “We had been watching Gary for some time and when I went to see him myself it only took me 45 minutes to decide he was what we were looking for.

“He is pacy, tricky and a bit of an old-fashioned winger. He's not afraid to take people on and he generally goes past them.

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“He has all the attributes, including a fabulous left peg, to be a top footballer. He is also hungry, which I especially like about him.”

Roberts is eager to make the most of his big chance after failing to make the grade at both Liverpool and Crewe, then slipping into non-league football in Wales with Rhyl, Bangor and Welshpool.

His haul of eight goals in 14 league games this season for League Two outfit Accrington alerted a host of clubs, and Ipswich have pipped Championship rivals Barnsley and Burnley for his signature.

Town have stolen a march on the other interested parties by swooping to sign him on loan and they are in the process of negotiating a permanent deal.

Roberts will give out-of-sorts Town a vital injection of pace and, apart from setting up chances for others, he has also demonstrated an ability to find the net on a regular basis himself.

Magilton added: “Gary has been playing off the front man for Accrington and has an impressive scoring record, so that's another useful string to his bow.

“To be honest I'd have probably done something in January but if I'd waited until then he might have been priced out of our market.”

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