May 20 2013 Latest news:
By Dave Gooderham
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
DAVID Stockdale has told Paul Jewell that the answer to his goalkeeping conundrum is already in his first-team squad.
As the search for a new keeper intensifies, the former Blues loanee believes Arran Lee-Barrett has all the attributes to silence the doubters and be Town’s No.1 next season.
Stockdale insisted: “I’m not the manager, but for me, the answer is already in the Ipswich Town squad.
“Arran is a great keeper. He came in last season and did very well. I hope he gets the chance to show everyone he can do it season-in, season-out. He certainly deserves it as he works so hard.”
While Lee-Barrett has the backing of his former goalkeeping rival at Portman Road, the 28-year-old still has to convince Jewell of his worth.
Last season was his most successful at his home-town club, but the manager never seemed truly convinced, turning to Stockdale, fellow loanee Alex McCarthy and, on one occasion, Richard Wright.
Lee-Barrett is currently the only goalkeeper on the books with Jewell admitting at the end of last season that bringing in a new No.1 was a top priority.
Predictably at this time of year, the club have been linked with a string of custodians including Tomasz Kuszczak, Brad Guzan, Colin Doyle and, more recently, Paddy Kenny.
Watford stopper Scott Loach, an Ipswich fan, is also believed to be on Jewell’s list of possible targets and we understand an enquiry has been made, despite reports to the contrary from the Hornets end.
And Stockdale, who believes Loach would be a “great addition” to the Town squad, has not ruled out returning himself to Portman Road should Jewell dip into to the loan market.
The Fulham keeper, who made 18 starts for Town at the start of last season before being recalled, added: “I loved my time at Ipswich and got a great reception.
“I am focusing on becoming Fulham’s No.1, but if that didn’t happen I would certainly consider any offer from Ipswich.
“Whether it will happen or not is another thing, but you never-say-never.”