Waghorn Relishing Pressure of Wearing Number Nine
Thursday, 10th Aug 2017 17:25
New Town striker Martyn Waghorn has no fears of coming up short in meeting new manager Mick McCarthy’s demands of him.
Waghorn arrived from Rangers on Monday, passed a medical and signed a two-year deal and little more than 24 hours later he was making his debut off the bench at Luton as Town progressed to the second round of the Caribao Cup courtesy of a 2-0 success.
The much-travelled striker – he launched his career at Sunderland and has also played for Leicester and Wigan, as well as having loan spells at Charlton, Hull and Millwall – spoke about his whirlwind start to life in Suffolk at a press conference earlier today.
South Shields-born Waghorn said: “It has been great and everything happened very quickly. I heard of Ipswich’s interest in the middle of last week and it got pushed through relatively quickly to get me involved on Tuesday.
“I was grateful for that and it made the drive through the middle of the night from Scotland – a bit of an epic – all worthwhile.
“It was late Sunday evening – I drove from 9pm and got to Ipswich at three in the morning.
“Then I was up again at the crack of dawn to get the medical done so I was okay to play on Tuesday night.
“It wasn’t too bad a journey because the roads were pretty quiet and I was speaking to family and friends on the phone, which helped to pass the time. But when I set the sat nav for Ipswich and it said it was 420 miles it seemed a bit daunting.”
Waghorn knows all about Town boss Mick McCarthy’s reputation as a manager who demands nothing less than maximum effort from his players, adding: “That’s what I base my game on. When I was growing up I was told that no matter how it is going for you in a game – you might be having an off day with the ball – as long as your legs can move you can still put a shift in.
“I think that’s the most important thing for a player and if you’re going to get anywhere in this league it’s important that you work hard as a group and as a team.
“It gives you a foundation to build on for the games and means you can come off the pitch happy. Everybody will have good and bad days – it’s how football works.
“The important thing is how you react and if you do your job off the ball that’s all you can do.”
He is also pleased that McCarthy sees him as a striker, the main man when it comes to scoring goals, so much so that when the squad numbers were handed out the number nine shirt was not allocated and instead retained for the striker revealed as Waghorn on Monday.
“That’s great to hear,” he admitted. “I’m obviously a striker by trade but I’m versatile and I’ve played on the wing a lot of the time during my career.
“I can also play in the number 10 role, as well as out wide, and I just love playing. If I get the nod to play I won’t be complaining. But if you asked me my best position I like to think it is through the middle.
“It’s a great honour to wear the number nine shirt as a striker. It’s what you want when you see yourself as an out and out striker.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and one I want to take. It could be seen as pressure but it’s what I want. I know I’ll be judged on goals scored but I’m hoping to hit the ground running and to keep the momentum going.
“I’ve got to back myself. I got 16 goals for Rangers last season and I’m confident I can get as many for Ipswich. I’ve got a lot of self-belief and if I know I’m playing, and I’m in the right zone, I know I will score goals, so why not?”
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