Roberts poised to make Town debut

NEW signing Gary Roberts is poised to make his full debut for Ipswich at Southend tomorrow.Manager Jim Magilton saw enough in the on-loan Accrington Stanley player's brief debut appearance in midweek to admit: “Gary is in my thoughts to start at Roots Hall.

By Mel Henderson

NEW signing Gary Roberts is poised to make his full debut for Ipswich at Southend tomorrow.

Manager Jim Magilton saw enough in the on-loan Accrington Stanley player's brief debut appearance in midweek to admit: “Gary is in my thoughts to start at Roots Hall.

“It was only a cameo appearance but it showed what he can provide and along with his knack for goals he's a player who can make a difference to us.

“Had we left it until January and the new transfer window to sign him there would have been a queue of clubs.

“There might still be a queue for him but at least we are now at the head of it.”

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Twenty-two-year-old Roberts expressed his delight at joining Town after a rollercoaster career that started as a schoolboy with Liverpool and has also taken in spells with Crewe Alexandra and non-league outfits Rhyl, Bangor and Welshpool.

Roberts said: “To me this is a massive club and although it's a big jump from League Two I think I can do it.

“Sometimes you have to take a step back to go forward. People get knocked down and don't get back up again but that hasn't been the case with me.

“This is a great move for me.

“I was excited more than nervous the other night and it was great to get a few minutes at the end.

“It was an unbelievable experience. In the warm-up I just kept seeing people coming in and I couldn't believe the number of fans compared to the numbers I'm used to playing in front of.”

Roberts, who trained as a computer technician, has not been home since Tuesday's game and laughed: “I could do with getting some new gear.”

“I went out shopping on Wednesday but I only ended up buying one T-shirt.

“Later on that day Gavin Williams got all the players to sign it - as a 'Welcome to Ipswich' present - so I couldn't wear it anyway!”

Although Magilton is considering Roberts for his full debut the Town boss added: “The guys who started the other night were very good for 50 minutes.

“They more than held their own and I want to get as close as I can to a settled side.

“Preston showed with their shape and discipline what a settled side can do for you and that's what we are striving for here.”

Town's only new injury worry is skipper Jason De Vos, who suffered a dead leg in training, but he is expected to be fit in time.

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