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Leadbitter Looking Forward to Return to Town
Friday, 19th Dec 2014 09:44

Former Blues skipper Grant Leadbitter is looking forward to returning to Portman Road with his new club Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The 28-year-old made 120 starts and six sub appearances for the Blues between 2009 and 2012, scoring 14 goals, before moving on to Boro on a free transfer. Both of his previous games back at Town for the Teessiders have ended in defeat, 3-1 last season and 4-0 the year before.

Now Middlesbrough's captain, the former England U21 international, who played under Town boss Mick McCarthy early in his Sunderland days, has scored 10 times already this season, six from the penalty spot.

“I’m looking forward to going back to Ipswich,” Leadbitter told the Middlesbrough Gazette.

“They are a good club, a big club, and I had some good times there. We know it is going to be a very difficult game for us.

“Mick McCarthy has done a very good job down there but we’ll go there full of confidence and looking to get another good result.

“You know what you’re going to get from one of Mick’s sides, and we know it’s going to be tough. But let’s concentrate on ourselves and hopefully come away with something.”

While Town have lost just one in 17, Boro have lost one in their last 16 with both sides unbeaten in their last eight. The second-placed Teessiders go into Saturday’s match having beaten then-leaders Derby 2-0 last week.

Despite their good form, Leadbitter, who cost the Blues £2.65 million when he was signed from Sunderland during Roy Keane's time at Portman Road, says there’s no complacency in the squad.

“This league is relentless and I can tell you that no one in the dressing room is getting carried away with what we’ve done up to now. We have nothing yet,” he added.

“Yes, we’ve been here before up near the top. But we’re not even at Christmas now. We’re not even halfway yet. We have to keep going and take each game as it comes.

“So it doesn’t matter that we beat Derby. This week has been all about preparing carefully and working hard leading up to the Ipswich game.

“We know it’s not going to be easy there. But hopefully we’ll come away with something.”

Photo: Action Images

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Smithy added 09:55 - Dec 19
If he shows the same level of application that he did here for the last 18 months of his contract (other than when he was trying to put himself in the shop window) he shouldn't be much of a threat. 6 penalties already??!?!?

Blue_Blob added 10:22 - Dec 19
If McCarthy had leadboots in his midfeild we would be unstoppable

PinstripeBlue added 10:29 - Dec 19
Leadbitter does the things that don't get noticed. Running off the ball, breaking up play, passing to the 'flare' players to do their bit. He would fit into the MM culture of hard work, not sure he would start every week though. He did his bit for us.

peteswindon added 10:30 - Dec 19
Dont worry about Leadboots I am coming back this weekend. First came since Sergi Baltachi made his debut. Cant wait to cheer on the Blues to a win.

bluecobblers added 10:43 - Dec 19
Good player, so this ballad I heard may not be as meaningful but here it is anyway to get you in the Christmas spirit:
The once was a lad named Leadbitter
who came to town a big hitter
he left for more money
which I think is quite funny
because I've never seen anyone sh*tter.

DurhamTownFan added 11:17 - Dec 19
I can't say I blame him for leaving when he did. The lad is north-east through and through, comes from a good footballing family up there and quite frankly we were going nowhere under PJ. Keane rightly gets a lot of stick, but the number of players who came to look round Ipswich and decided to sign for someone else under PJ speaks for itself

When he signed, Boro and Town were about level, and happily, we still are, although much higher up the league! I'll be sick if he scores tomorrow but I still think we can out-fight any team in a big game and grind a result

SouperJim added 11:30 - Dec 19
Unfairly criticised by many fans during his time with us. Grant is a good player as he is now proving in a decent side at 'boro. Certainly worked harder for us than Daryl Murphy, for example, did under Keane and was one of the few players who did their best to grin and bear it under Keane's awful management. A decent pro that we massively overpaid for and then let leave on a free transfer.

Will be getting polite applause from me tomorrow, right before we take 3 points off him and leapfrog 'boro in the table.

Ipswich24 added 15:52 - Dec 19
For goodness sake don't any morons boo him tomorrow because it always comes back to bite us as it has with Nugent, Holt and Rhodes. It only makes them try even harder to throw abuse straight back down our throats, lets just back our own team rather than concentrating on the opposition!!!!

Jimmy86 added 18:48 - Dec 19
Think it didn't help that he was made captain. He was too quiet on the field to really excel in that role, nor did he really ever grab games by the scruff of the neck. Think he would be more suited to playing in our team at present than when he played under Keane and Jewell. Failed to live up to his over paid price tag. Jewell should really have dropped him when he refused the new contract offered to him, or sold him in the Jan. Hopefully keep tabs on him tommorow, no pun intended. COYB

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