Ipswich Town Lee Bowyer move backed by Alex Mathie

Lee Bowyer
Bowyer arrived at Ipswich after being released by Birmingham

Former Ipswich striker Alex Mathie has backed Town boss Paul Jewell's decision to bring in midfielder Lee Bowyer.

Bowyer's chequered past has attracted criticism from sections of the Ipswich supporters over the signing.

But Mathie, who played 195 times for the Portman Road club, believes fans should focus on Bowyer's ability.

"I think he's calmed down a lot now and I think he's matured, I really do think he'll be a good signing," he told BBC Radio Suffolk.

"He'll bring a lot of experience to the midfield.

"The thing I like about Lee is he gets forward and gets himself into the box and Ipswich could have lacked goals from midfield this season with David Norris gone as well."

The 34-year-old's first brush with controversy came while he was at Charlton in 1995, when he was suspended for six weeks by the Football Association after testing positive for cannabis.

In December 2001, while a Leeds United player, he was cleared of affray and causing grievous bodily harm with intent following a protracted trial over an incident outside a Leeds nightclub a year earlier.

On-the-pitch misdemeanours include a brawl with then Newcastle team-mate Kieron Dyer during a match against Aston Villa in April 2005, and an altercation with a West Brom fan last year after being substituted for Birmingham City.

"Yes he's got a little bit of a temperament issue," added Mathie, who is an Ipswich summariser for BBC Radio Suffolk.

"But I think he's a fabulous player and a good signing for Ipswich.

"He does attack from midfield, which is great, and what Ipswich need."