Norwich City's latest loan recruit this morning insisted that his Blue past is all behind him – these days he's just one, unwanted Eagle more than happy to fly that particular nest.
With the paperwork on Alan Lee's loan switch to Carrow Road duly completed at a little after 8.30am this morning, the 30-year-old former Town striker was rolled out to meet the Press at Colney this morning ahead of Saturday's trip to Birmingham City.
He, like City boss Bryan Gunn, was paying little attention to one of his former employers – someone he will bump into again before this particular roller-coaster season is out.
“I'm delighted to be here,” said the 6ft 3in striker, likely to go straight into the travelling party for St Andrews.
“It hasn't been working out too well at Crystal Palace, so to come to a big club that plays [its games] in front of a full capacity crowd… And I can live at home as well which is another advantage.”
Bot appear to be key in Lee's thinking over the last 48 hours. According to both player and new manager alike there was at least one other Championship club – one that didn't offer the joys of a sevn game relegation scrap – interested in bagging his signature, but City's renowned level of support and its proximity to Lee's home on the Essex-Suffolk border sealed the deal.
Suddenly, Gunn has a multitude of riches at his disposal on the striker front – it seems almost an eternity since the Cort-Cureton show was the only one at the manager's disposal.
“I'm really looking forward to it – I just want to start playing now,” said Lee, who may yet have to settle for a place on the bench against Birmingham as Gunn keeps faith with the Mooney-Gow front pairing.
And a relegation battle?
“I could have gone to a couple of other clubs in the Championship – good clubs.
“But I felt I can come here and make a difference rather than playing my time out in mid-table – I can go somewhere and really contribute to a season.
Appearances on a pich can often prove very deceptive; in person, Lee is far more articulate and thoughtful than the 'derby day banter' allows. He appears to be here for the right kind of reasons; in fairness, he's always proved something of a thorn in Norwich's side before now. And he works. And he runs.
“I knew I was going to have to face a lot of questions,” said Lee, as the inevitable 'And about Ipswich…' questions started.
“But I'm sure that if I score the goals and work hard, the Norwich fans won't mind. Goals, work-rate, results – I think fans appreciate that.”
Would that rivalry be in his mind when he ran out in a Norwich shirt for the first time?
“No – I'll be thinking about the game,” said Lee, all-too disarmingly. Like many a player, Ipswich was just another job – just as Rotherham and Cardiff were. It is a passion that doesn't run that deep.
“I know Norwich and Ipswich have got to play, so I'll look forward to it,” said the man who bagged 31 league goals in 91 league starts for the Suffolk side.
“I'll be happy if I have that sort of ratio here,” said Lee And if he scored at Portman Road would he mute his celebrations? Famously, Jamie Cureton barely raised a smile when he scored against Norwich for Colchester United the other season.
Again, Lee appears far more of travelling footballer used to pitching up wherever someone wishes to pay for his services; East Anglia's tribal loyalties leave him unmoved.
“I'll celebrate any goal I score in football for any team – as long as it counts to helping us win the game. That's what I'm paid to do; that's what I love doing. And, so, of course…”
He was also well aware of the challenge that awaits in the West Midlands this weekend.
“Every game in this division is tough; I think anyone can beat anyone else. But whether I'm selected or not, I'll get a lot out of being involved; of playing at a big stadium; in a game that really matters.”
Team-wise and Gunn confirmed that Wes Hoolahan would be sidelined for up to six weeks after returning to Norfolk following surgery on his damaged ankle ligaments.
He and Dejan Stefanovic remain the only two players in the treatment room with Gunn dropping one or two hints that Simon Lappin could be the one to step into the shoes of the suspended Darel Russell.