Sheffield United: Centre-forward hopes a strong performance at Ipswich Town will put him in Steel City derby contention

Caolan Lavery is set to start against Ipswich Town today: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Caolan Lavery is set to start against Ipswich Town today: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Caolan Lavery aims to use today’s FA Cup third round tie at Ipswich Town as a springboard back into Sheffield United’s starting eleven.

The centre-forward, who is expected to start this afternoon’s match, hopes a strong performance at Portman Road will put him in contention to face Sheffield Wednesday, another of his former clubs, on Friday night.

“Hopefully I’ll take my chance,” Lavery said. “I’m looking forward to the game. I can’t be worried about anything else.

“I think any player you ask, that’s been out of the team for one point or another, you look forward to these games. If you have a cup run, it gives you more opportunity to be involved in the squad or come onto the pitch. The FA Cup is something I always look forward to because when I was growing up it was a really big thing.”

Despite representing Northern Ireland at youth and under-21 level, Lavery was born in Red Deer, Alberta.

“The Premier League was on television in Canada but so were the cup games,” he added. “It was something I grew-up admiring and it’s always been an honour to play in it.”

Lavery spent four years at Hillsborough, making 39 appearances, before joining United at the beginning of last season. However, he started his career as a youth team player at Portman Road.

“I was at Ipswich for a while,” Lavery said. “I really enjoyed my time there. It was the first club I signed for in England there were lots of other Northern Irish and Irish lads there. It’s a really nice town as well. For one reason or another, I ended-up turning down a contract but I don’t have a bad thing to say about them.

“Luke Hyam was our youth team captain, he’s still there. And Tommy Wright. That’s about it. It shows how football changes.”