Ex-Bluebird Lee set for hot reception
Alan Lee can expect a red-hot reception in south Wales this afternoon thanks to his links with Cardiff City. But Bryan Gunn reckons his big striker will thrive under the glare of the Swansea City supporters.
Alan Lee can expect a red-hot reception in south Wales this afternoon thanks to his links with Cardiff City.
But Bryan Gunn reckons his big striker will thrive under the glare of the Swansea City supporters.
Lee, then with Rotherham, spurned former Norwich boss Nigel Worthington's advances and joined Cardiff in the summer of 2003, leaving for Ipswich three and a half years later.
In normal circumstances that would have made him a hate figure for both sets of fans today, but Gunn's decision to bring him in on loan from Crystal Palace could prove to be a master-stroke.
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The City boss left him out of his starting line-up against Sheffield Wednesday a week ago - a decision that he may be regretting - but Lee is likely to be back in the firing line today, hoping to do enough to earn a start at Ipswich in eight days time.
“There could be a couple of tasty weekends for big Alan coming up,” said Gunn.
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“I said after the game last week that I looked at whether I had made the right decision in not playing him and that is something that will have to stay with me now, but he's certainly made an impression since he's come to the club.
“I think the fans have seen what he's about and what he can offer to us, and this might be the type of game which sees the best from him.
“He seems to like it when things are against him, so I take it the Swansea fans will have a Welsh welcome for him, a welcome back to the Valleys. He's certainly very high up in my thoughts for Saturday.”
Lee's work ethic might by just what City need this afternoon, with Gunn admitting that Swansea's passing game could make it physical - but not in the usual context.
“They have not changed their system this season,” said Gunn. “The times I have seen them this season and the reports we have had they play a very rigid system, fluid passing through midfield and work the ball around the pitch very well.
“We have to decide how we play against that. It will be a physical battle - but more of a running game against them and making sure we close them down.
“The ball will move around the park fairly quickly, so it is really getting ourselves a system that we can nullify their strengths and then adapt to what we see as our strengths. It's not physical as in contact - but I wouldn't mind if there was any contact either. It will be a running physical game.”