Ward and Sears Battling it Out to Be Second-Top Scorer
Thursday, 20th Apr 2017 16:45
Town’s 11-goal loanee, Tom Lawrence, is odds-on favourite to finish the season as the club’s leading goalscorer, but Grant Ward, who trails the Wales international by five, has revealed that he and seven-goal Freddie Sears are both keen to claim the runner-up position in the scoring chart.
Ward, who netted a hat-trick after coming on as a half-time substitute against Barnsley on the opening day of the season, accepts that neither he nor Sears is likely to overtake Lawrence in the remaining three games of the current campaign.
He said: “I think Tom has done it. There’s a bit of banter about who is going to finish second-top scorer, though, and Searsy was giving me a bit of stick the other day. I’m on six and he is on seven now after scoring four times in as many games.
“He gave me a bit of stick after the Newcastle game – he’s got his goals, what more does he want? But I’m happy for him because he has been playing well since he got back in the team and as a striker it’s nice for him to get a few goals.”
Manager Mick McCarthy has hinted at making changes between now and the end of the season, not least because the threat of being dragged into the relegation scrap was lifted by Town’s back-to-back wins over Burton and Newcastle during the Easter weekend.
The names of Andre Dozzell, Teddy Bishop, Kieffer Moore, Danny Rowe and Reading loanee Dominic Samuel have all been mentioned, while Zimbabwe-born 17-year-old Tristan Nydam, would also a candidate to make his senior debut before the players depart for their summer breaks but for an injury.
Ward added: “Tristan has trained with us a few times this season and he looks like a good footballer, quite technical and good on the ball. He might get a chance but I’m not sure.
“The manager will decide what happens but I always want to play, wherever we are and regardless of what sort of form I’m in. He did say he’s going to change things around a bit so we’ll have to wait and see what he decides to do.”
One player Ward believes Town must do their utmost to keep is on-loan Cardiff midfielder Emyr Huws, who volleyed the stoppage-time final goal in the 3-1 win over Newcastle at Portman Road on Monday.
He said: “It would be nice if we could Emyr at the club. Obviously, he’s going to have to assess his options and see what is going to be best for him, but it would be good for us if he was with us next season. I think I have a good understanding with both Cole [Skuse] and Emyr.
“If I press I know one of them will cover and vice versa. I’ve been enjoying working with them. You need someone like Cole in the team. Most top teams in the world, if you have a look, have a holding midfielder. You need someone who’s going to be there and provide the stability.”
Meanwhile, Ward has reflected on his first season with Town following a £500,000 summer move from first club Tottenham. “I think it’s been a good season for me personally,” he said.
“It has been a bit of a learning curve – a bit up and down at times – but overall it’s been enjoyable. I’ve settled here – I live by the marina so everything’s cool.
“We’re not going to end up where we want we really want to be, in the play-offs, but it has been a good experience and I have learned a lot.
”The highlight was obviously the opening day when I came on at half-time and scored the hat-trick. It’s always nice to score on your debut but instead of one I got a few so I was very happy with that.
“As players we want to be pushing for the play-offs, not being in the bottom half of the league, so from that point of view it has definitely been disappointing. We just need to try and build on what we’ve done recently and finish the season well.”
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