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Monday 18 December 2017

Noel Hunt hungry to prove a point to former club Leeds

Noel Hunt (R) celebrates scoring for Ipswich Town at Charlton Athletic. The Waterford man will sign for Ipswich on a permanent basis after severing his ties with Leeds United yesterday.
Noel Hunt (R) celebrates scoring for Ipswich Town at Charlton Athletic. The Waterford man will sign for Ipswich on a permanent basis after severing his ties with Leeds United yesterday.

NOEL Hunt says he's determined to use his time at promotion-chasing Ipswich Town to make a point to those who sidelined him at previous club Leeds United.

The 32-year-old last month joined Ipswich on a permanent deal after a successful loan spell, ending a torrid time at Leeds which saw the player embarrassed by an erroneous claim, later made public, by the club owner that the Ireland striker was earning £25,000 a week.

And while promotion to the Premier League is the main goal, Hunt is also keen to prove himself.

"Right now I've got whatever is left of the season to prove I'm a good player and that I can play at this level, which I think I can and I think I've shown I can," said the former Shamrock Rovers, Dundee United and Reading man.

"Just because a certain person didn't want me involved in the team at my previous club doesn't mean I'm not still a good player.

"For now my main aim is to help my new club get to where they want to go. That's the big thing now. If we get promoted this year, it will be a dream come true and there aren't many who deserve it more than the players and staff here."

Hunt has spoken of how he was verbally abused by Leeds fans who were angry at hearing a claim by United owner Massimo Cellino that Hunt was on "twenty five grand a week".

He says: "I'm not bitter. The owner has put in his money and he wants to have a say in the team.

"Fair play to him, that's how he wants it, and to a certain degree I go along with that. If he puts the cash in and wants to have a say in who plays and who doesn't, so be it.

"It was just a difference of opinion really and that's football for you. Managers can make or break you and that's just the way it is. There was nothing else to it.

"I did what I could to get out on the pitch, training as best I could to give myself the best chance possible, but for whatever reason I just wasn't picked. It's just one of those things," added Hunt.

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy has spoken warmly about the striker since his arrival from Leeds and the impact he has made alongside older brother Stephen in the Tractor Boys' side.

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