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Samuel Delighted to Finally Make Town Debut
Monday, 3rd Apr 2017 17:29

Dominic Samuel has reflected on his long-awaited Town debut in Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Birmingham City and vowed to do his utmost to help the club avoid being dragged closer to the end-of-season scrap for survival.

Mick McCarthy and his players extended the gap between them and the drop zone to six points and tomorrow’s visit from second-bottom Wigan, when Samuel will be looking to contribute again, provides an opportunity to further strengthen their position.

Samuel, 22, was signed on loan from Reading at the end of January but was unfortunate to suffer a broken toe in one of his first training sessions, hacing scored a hat-trick on his Blues U23s debut, or would probably have clocked up far more than one single outing, which came as a 71st minute substitute for Brett Pitman at the weekend.

The London-born striker said: “It was a petty injury. I tried to play on, thinking I had just bruised it. I was training again the next day but just couldn’t get going.

“That’s when they told me to get an x-ray and I found out it was broken. It was my standing foot so it was quite difficult for me.

“When I was told I’d be out for four to six weeks it got me down and I was upset — but that’s football. It happened in training but I’m not sure who stood on my toe. It could have been one of a few guys but I’m just delighted to be back now.

“I was delighted to get on against Birmingham. I had been putting in the hard work in every training session because it’s hard when you are coming back from injury. It was very frustrating to get injured so soon after I arrived at the club but I was delighted to get my debut on Saturday.

“It’s frustrating to come to a new club and get injured but it’s football and the quicker you get that into your head the easier it is to cope with it. No player wants to be injured, especially in their first few days at a new club, but I’m over it now.

“I think it was four weeks out or something like that but I’m looking at it as a fresh start now and I’ll be putting all I can into my training.”

Samuel played a part in Town’s equaliser against Gianfranco Zola’s team, finding Grant Ward on the right before he delivered a cross into the middle that instead rather fortuitously sailed over the head of goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak and into the net.

He laughed: “Me and Wardy used to play together a few years ago, when we were both on loan at Coventry, and I’m glad I set him up for his goal — or cross or whatever you want to call it! At the end of the day it went in and we managed to get a point out of it so it’s all good.

“I also knew Freddie Sears from when I was on loan at Colchester. I was just 17 or 18 at the time but I spoke to him and Wardy before I arrived and I felt comfortable about the move.

“Right from the first day I was feeling good and when the lads I already knew introduced me to the rest of the squad I could see there are a lot of good boys here.”

Samuel agreed the hostile atmosphere that prevails at Portman Road right now was far from ideal at the weekend but added: “I see football as a mental game and there are going to be disappointed fans because of where we are in the league.

“I think they just need to stay with us because the Championship is hard and it’s hard to win games in this league. If we get their support it will boost us more in games and help us to get the three points.

“The boys are strong mentally. They knew the fans were on their case during the game but they just let the football do the talking. They were able to ignore everything else and just concentrate on what had to be done on the pitch, and they managed to get a point out of the match.”

Samuel’s contract with the Royals is not due to expire until June 2018 and could become a Premier League player if they retain their place in the play-offs through to the end of the season.

But he said: “Who knows where I’ll be at the end of the season. For now I’ve just got to concentrate on myself and finish the season strongly.

“Reading are my club at the moment but for now I’m here so I’m just concentrating on keeping Ipswich up and playing my part with Ipswich through to the end of the season.”

Photo: BBC Suffolk

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ClausThomsen added 17:34 - Apr 3
Injured in training? Whoda thunk it?

Mark added 17:52 - Apr 3
Our strikers don't look like scoring at the moment, so if Samuel could come in and freshen things up that could help us get over the line with the points to stay up. We badly need some younger attacking players to come in and play without fear.

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