Ipswich Town new boys Lawrence and Best knew all about club’s ‘togetherness’
PUBLISHED: 20:38 30 August 2016 | UPDATED: 20:38 30 August 2016
Ipswich Town new boys Tom Lawrence and Leon Best have both spoken about how the well-known togetherness at the club was a big factor in them putting pen to paper at Portman Road.
The versatile Lawrence – who can play wide left or as a deep forward – has joined on a season-long loan from Leicester City and immediately has headed off to join the Wales squad for a World Cup qualifier against Moldova.
Town’s social media has adopted the catchphrase ‘Stronger As One’ for this season, mirroring Wales’ slogan of ‘Together, Stronger’ from their recent impressive Euro 2016 campaign.
Wrexham-born Lawrence would have been part of Chris Coleman’s squad over in France this summer had it not been for injury.
“I spoke to a few players who have played here, the likes of Ryan Tunnicliffe, and they all told me what a good group of lads it is here,” said Lawrence, who came through the youth ranks at Manchester United.
“When I go away with Wales we have that togetherness and it sounds similar here.”
Lawrence spent the first half of last season on loan at Blackburn and the second half of the campaign on loan at Cardiff. Several clubs – including Premier League duo Hull and Swansea – were reportedly interested in taking him for 2016/17.
“I wanted to come to a club pushing for promotion and that’s why I’ve come here,” he added, speaking to the club website.
Best, meanwhile, is looking to get his career back on track after his release by Rotherham. His former clubs include Southampton, Coventry, Newcastle, Blackburn, Sheffield Wednesday, Derby and Brighton.
“This is a proper football club. I could tell that as soon as I walked through the door,” he said.
“You can tell that everyone knows what they are doing, everyone knows what is expected of them. There is a real togetherness here.
“It’s funny because people in the game have told me that Mick McCarthy would be a good manager for me to work under and I’ve felt that as well. Now I have that chance.
“He’s a straightforward, honest man and honesty is a key thing in football. He said to me ‘Come in and show what you can do and we will take it from there’, and that is what has happened.
“I’m a free agent and a lot of players in my situation are waiting to after the transfer window closes to see what is out there but as soon as I arrived here last week and met the players and staff and saw what the club was about, my mind was made up. I just wanted to get something sorted.
“I know a lot of the players here. I was at Rotherham with Granty (Grant Ward) last year, Chambo (Luke Chambers) I know well and I grew up with Didz (David McGoldrick).
“It’s a club that has been at the top end of the table, is going in the right direction and that is very important when you thinking about a move.
“It’s a massive ambition of mine to get back in the Premier League and I think when you look at the players we have here and the manager, you have to believe that, with everyone together, we can get there.”