Wright fears mass exodus at Town

IPSWICH star Jermaine Wright fears a mass exodus from Portman Road in the wake of last night's devastating play-off KO.Defeat at Upton Park brought Town's season to a shuddering halt, with boss Joe Royle likely to waste little time in deciding the futures of the club's eight out-of-contract stars.

IPSWICH star Jermaine Wright fears a mass exodus from Portman Road in the wake of last night's devastating play-off KO.

Defeat at Upton Park brought Town's season to a shuddering halt, with boss Joe Royle likely to waste little time in deciding the futures of the club's eight out-of-contract stars.

Vice-captain Wright's present deal is about to expire and skipper Jim Magilton, John McGreal, Fabian Wilnis, Richard Naylor, Chris Makin, Alun Armstrong and Chris Bart-Williams are all in the same boat.

Royle has already confirmed that he intends to offer new deals to Wright and Naylor, at the very least, but it is a period of uncertainty for all concerned.

Wright said: "There are a lot of players out of contract and the club hasn't done anything because of the position we have been in, not knowing which division we were going to be in next season.

"In a situation like this you wonder what will happen. You just have to sit by the phone and wait to see what happens.

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"It's sad when you consider that if we had defended the lead we would not even be thinking about that.

"But now we have to wonder whether we will all be together again next season. The answer is most probably no."

Former Millwall and Wolves midfielder Wright, 28, cost £500,000 from Crewe almost five years ago and has made 221 appearances, scoring 11 goals.

Royle has been singing his praises this season, but his confirmation that a new contract offer is in the offing is no guarantee that Wright will remain at Portman Road.

In his prime and rarely absent, he is probably coveted by a number of clubs, at least some of whom will be able to improve on what Ipswich, still running a tight ship, can afford.

Meanwhile, Wright could not conceal his disappointment on an emotionally draining evening when Town and their fans were bystanders at an old fashioned East End knees-up.

He said: "Everyone is down and I am obviously gutted, but we just have to regroup, don't we?

"To be honest a couple of us froze on the night and we didn't get our passing game going at all.

"We knew they were going to come at us but after the first ten minutes they were not that threatening.

"They got the goals from set pieces. That has been our main problem all season – conceding at set pieces. We had a great chance, but it's gone now."

Wright did not deny that the Upton Park cauldron made life difficult for some Town players.

He added: "Their manager was building it up all the time, but I have played at Wembley so I wouldn't say that I personally was affected.

"It was certainly a bit of an atmosphere and it was intended to make it difficult for us to come here. In a way it probably worked.

"There were a few of the younger ones who were overawed by it. Then in the second half we just didn't do anything.

"Also, if Ian Westlake's shot had not hit the post we would have been back in it. The line is that thin."

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