IT is amazing to think that Keith Andrews was a target for the Blackburn boo-boys.

He arrived in Suffolk, labelled as a Premier League reject and with some doubting his importance to the Republic of Ireland side.

Well the secret is out. Since signing on a half-season loan in August, Blues fans have witnessed an all-action, committed player with a welcome penchant for goals.

Rarely a game goes by where Andrews doesn't try his luck from long distance and he rarely misses the target. He could have added a few more goals in his 13 games but we'll take five thus far, thank you very much.

There is often a lot of criticism directed at loan players, much of which I agree with. But you could never accuse Andrews of not caring about the club or only moving to Portman Road to secure a better deal elsewhere.

I have had the privilege of talking to the midfielder on a number of occasions and two things are always clear: his will to win, and how much he is enjoying his time at Ipswich.

Andrews has come out before and said he wants to stay in Suffolk. While Paul Jewell has stressed how he would like to sign the midfielder when his loan deal expires in January.

Now it is time to make it happen after Andrews played a starring role in the Republic of Ireland's fantastic 4-0 win in Estonia in the Euro 2012 Play-Off.

The 31-year-old was briefly trending worldwide on Twitter after he opened the scoring in Tallin on Friday night.

Even then, for some, he was a figure of fun with some tweeters (Blackburn fans?) saying it was laughable that Andrews could soon grace a major international championships.

Well they can keep laughing for all I care, as long as Jewell and the Town money-men encourage the tenacious Andrews to sign on the dotted line.


Once Andrews commits his long-term future to Town, assuming he does, Jewell's next job should be to make him permanent Ipswich captain.

This is not some anti-Grant Leadbitter rant, he is someone who I still rate and I still believe will have a big role to play this season.

But Leadbitter is no skipper. Call me traditional, but I want a captain who is going to rant and rave as well as inspire through their performance on the pitch.

Let me give you an example. The captain is meant to be the only one who can talk to the referee but if team mates feel Leadbitter is too quiet to do that, they will take matters into their own hands - and potentially talk/shout themselves into trouble.

The only reason I wouldn't have given Andrews the armband thus far is because it shouldn't go to a loan player.

Come January, hopefully that problem will be overcome and we can all be cheering on 'Captain Keith'.