Shane lays down gauntlet

SHANE Supple today looked ahead to many more clean sheets for Ipswich Town after starring in Saturday's 1-0 victory over Luton Town at Portman Road.And the 18-year-old confirmed that he wants to become number one ahead of Lewis Price in the Blues goalkeeping pecking order.

By Elvin King

HANE Supple today looked ahead to many more clean sheets for Ipswich Town after starring in Saturday's 1-0 victory over Luton Town at Portman Road.

And the 18-year-old confirmed that he wants to become number one ahead of Lewis Price in the Blues goalkeeping pecking order.

“I am great mates with Lewis and he is superb keeper,” said Supple. “I always wish him well - and he does me - but now that I have had a good taste of first team football I want to stay in the team.”

Supple made two brilliant saves in the second half to chalk up his first clean sheet in the Championship.

“I came on when Lewis was injured in the August 0-0 draw at Leicester,” added Supple, who has now started four games. “But this was my first 90-minute shut-out.

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“And I want to gain many, many more during what I hope will be a long Ipswich Town career.”

Supple was one of the heroes of New Year's Eve for the Blues before settling down to a quiet night in.

Being a professional footballer has its drawbacks and there were no celebrations to bring in the New Year for Supple with his 17-year-old housemate Owen Garvan.

“We settled down and watched Match of the Day on television and went off to bed just after midnight,” explained Supple.

“We had to be in yesterday morning for training before the journey up to Stoke.”

Supple was set to start this afternoon's Championship match at Stoke with Price still suffering from the effects of a groin strain.

Town manager Joe Royle says that Ipswich are blessed to have two young keepers of the quality of Supple and Welsh international Price.

But Supple says that he is blessed to be on the books of Ipswich Town.

“With most clubs I would not be in with a chance of playing in the first team at my age,” said Supple.

“At Ipswich we get our chance, and Owen, Danny Haynes and Dean Bowditch were other teenagers in Saturday's team.

“Since coming over from Dublin I have had a great grounding - and hopefully I have many seasons ahead of me.

“I phoned my folks in Ireland on Saturday night, and they were celebrating the New Year.

“For me it was a quiet night in, but it was a small price to pay for having football as a career.

“I was happy with how I played on Saturday and hope I can keep it going today.

“We were all getting a bit fed up with not winning, and I am sure it was getting to our fans as well.

“We deserved our win over Luton, and must now keep it going.”

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