Ipswich boss Roy Keane has praised the professionalism of Jon Stead ahead of the striker's return to Portman Road.
The 27-year-old joined Bristol City on Monday and looks set to make his debut for the Robins in this Saturday's clash with the Blues.
"In an ideal world I would have liked to have kept Jon here," Keane told the club's official website, "But he had a good offer from Bristol City. One we couldn't match.
"He spoke to two or three clubs but even though he had a deal around the corner he showed a good side to him with his performances for us in that time.
"He showed what being a good professional is all about and I'm sure he will get a good reaction from our supporters."