Bullard Not Ruling Out Staying at Town
Monday, 21st Mar 2011 08:40
Loan midfielder Jimmy Bullard says he’s loving life at Town and hasn’t ruled out returning permanently next season when he expects Portman Road to be “a good place to be”. The 32-year-old, who has two years remaining on his £45,000-a-week Hull City contract, netted his fourth goal for the Blues in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Scunthorpe.
Bullard said: “I’ve enjoyed my time since I’ve been here. Every time I step on that pitch I’m loving it, especially having been out for a long time over the last three years.
“They’re a good bunch of boys here and ever since I’ve come to the dressing room the boys have been fantastic to me and I’m just enjoying my footie.”
The former Fulham man says there have been no developments regarding where his future might lie: “There’s not a lot of movement. I haven’t heard anything from anyone, I’ve just got my head down and played my football. As I keep saying, [developments are more likely] towards the end of the season.
“It’s a little bit out of my hands, it’s up to the two clubs, not one but two and they’re both clubs for me.
“I keep saying, I’m in a no-lose situation, I love Hull City and I love Ipswich, times have been good here. Wherever I’ll be, hopefully one of the two clubs, I’ll be happy with that.”
Bullard says whether he’d take the significant pay cut which would almost certainly be the case if he joined the Blues is a big question to consider: “I’ll obviously have to go away and think about that, but I’ve enjoyed my time so much and I want to play footie, so why not? Money isn’t everything to me, although at the same time I’m 32. But I’ve really enjoyed my time here.
“That’s the first time I’ve been asked that question. To be honest, I’ve not really thought about it. I believe there are eight games to go, I don’t think any club is going to make a decision yet – whether Hull want to keep me or Ipswich want to keep me. Whatever I say, it’s not really worth anything at the minute.”
The midfielder looks all but certain to leave Hull in the summer with his wages making up 21% of the Tigers’ wage bill. However, the £5 million January 2009 signing is taking nothing for granted regarding his expected KC Stadium exit: “I’ve got two years of my contract left at Hull and I’ve got to respect Hull City because they’ve given me the contract and I’ve got a great bunch of friends up there. We’ll see how it goes and closer to the end of the season I’ll be able to answer that.
“I’ve got to take my contract into consideration, which every footballer has to. But because I’ve missed so much football there’s a lot more football things than wages for me.”
The West Ham academy trainee says other sides could also come into play in the summer with a return to the Premier League not yet out of his thoughts: “It might not even be those clubs involved, there are a lot of other clubs out there.
“I’m just happy to play my football and I want to play as high as I possibly can as well, that’s another thing at the back of my mind. I’m sure towards the end of the season, it’ll become clearer.”
One factor which will count in Town’s favour is Paul Jewell’s presence at Portman Road with the Blues boss a manager he rates very highly: “Paul’s been brilliant, he’s come in here, he wants to play good, attacking football and he hates losing. You wouldn’t have wanted to be in the changing room the other night against Watford.
“Even after the Scunthorpe win he wanted more, that’s the way he is and the boys know that. He’s got some good coaching staff with him in Hutch and Sean. It’s going to be a good place to be next year I feel, so all the best to him.
“I’ve had a lot of success under him. I had four years at Wigan and we went up two leagues, got in the Premier League, got to a cup final and stayed in the Premier League.
“For me, he’s probably the best manager I’ve ever worked under, along with Barry Fry, who gave me a chance of my career back when I was 22.”
Bullard is in no doubt about the potential at Portman Road and hints that he’d like to play his part in taking the Blues back to where they belong: “It’s a big club and a club that’s been places before, in Europe, it’s a very big club and I knew that before I came here.
“It’s a tough league, the Championship, there are a lot of games and you’ve got to have a big squad, a fit squad and a team of winners.
“But next year I believe that the gaffer’s going to add a couple, hopefully keep a lot of the players that are here and, who knows, I believe it’s going to be a really good place to be next year, so hopefully I’ll be here!”
Photo: Action Images
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