Royle desperate to get Lee fit again

IPSWICH Town will make every effort to get in-form striker Alan Lee fit for the weekend.

IPSWICH Town will make every effort to get in-form striker Alan Lee fit for the weekend, writes Elvin King.

With suspended Ricardo Fuller unable to play in a crunch Championship match at sixth-placed Preston on Saturday, Lee's presence up front would be a huge boost.

Having scored four times in six matches since his £100,000 transfer from Cardiff City, 27-year-old Lee is making encouraging progress from a hamstring strain he picked up at Crewe on Valentine's Day.

Town manager Joe Royle will not gamble if the former Republic of Ireland international is not 100 per cent fit, as he wants the lively Lee around for the run-in.

But without him - and the rest of the injured or suspended main Town striker force - the Blues chances of upsetting Preston will be diminished.

“It is another blow to lose Ricardo (Fuller),” said Royle. “A curse on our strikers looks as though it will last all season.

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“Ricardo did well. As he got going we got going, and he played a vital part on Saturday.

“He played like he did in his

halcyon days with Preston when I used to watch him scoring goals with regularity.

“Ricardo is a strong player, who holds the ball and is a handful with his back to goal.

“Alan Lee has a chance, but we have Danny Haynes, Adam Proudlock, Dean McDonald and perhaps Richard Naylor competing for places up front if he does not make it.”

Royle selected midfielder Darren Currie for special praise after the 31-year-old set up both goals with corner kicks.

Royle said: “Set plays are very important, you just have to look at two of the goals in the Chelsea versus Barcelona Champions League game.

“Darren delivers as well as anybody from corners and free-kicks and with Leicester working hard we needed to find a way through.

“The Leicester front two defended as well as I have seen this season.”

Royle also picked out Owen Garvan. “Owen never ceases to amaze me with his displays.

“He has a tremendous temperament and he had another great game along with Jason De Vos, Richard Naylor, and Ian Westlake.

“If we keep playing like this the play-offs are a possibility.”