Ireland international Stephen Hunt is determined to earn a longer-term contract at Portman Road having extended his current deal to the end of the season.
Hunt signed for the Portman Road outift on a short-term agreement last November when former international boss Mick McCarthy took him to Suffolk. The fiery winger had struggled with injury and a lack of form in recent times, resulting in his release from Wolves after 66 appearances for the club.
A fan favourite among Irish supporters, the Waterford native spent last summer at home working on his fitness.
“I’m very happy here at Ipswich and I love the area so, all being well, I can hopefully do enough to persuade the manager that I deserve a longer deal,” Hunt told the club website itfc.co.uk.
“The short-term contract I first signed was really a case of ‘what if’ and it allowed the gaffer to have a look at me, and me to have a look at Ipswich and see if things could go further.”
Hunt previously played under McCarthy at Wolves and was more than happy to reunite with his former club and international boss.
“There weren’t any politics involved or anything like that and knowing him and TC from Wolves like I did, I knew he would be totally honest and straight down the line with me.”
The 32-year-old has five years’ experience in the Premier League and was voted club player of the year at both Reading and Hull. He was also named in the Championship team of the Year in 2009.
Hunt has made 11 appearances for Ipswich since joining at the end of last year and had his contract extended to the end of the season. The Tractor Boys are currently ninth in the Championship table and are eyeing a place in the play-offs. They’re just four points adrift of the top six. Town beat Birmingham City 1-0 last time out and travel to Middlesbrough this weekend, a game which can be tracked at Footballscores.com
“Obviously I knew I had to prove myself to get into the team and thankfully I managed to get my foot in the door and I’ve done pretty well since I’ve been in,” he said.
“Now the aim is to keep working hard until the end of the season and try and get the team into the play-offs. After that, then we can hopefully sort out a longer deal.”
Hunt has played 39 times for Ireland and was part of the squad at Euro 2012. He hasn’t ruled out an international return. Last November, he proclaimed: “I’d love to work with Martin (O’Neill) and Roy (Keane), but there’s a long way to go before I can start thinking about that.”