Celina: My Best Professional Goal
Saturday, 9th Sep 2017 19:42
Blues loanee Bersant Celina hailed his goal in Town’s 2-1 defeat at QPR as the best of his senior career, even if he scored a better one in the U23s at Sheffield Wednesday last week. Despite being pleased to net in the Championship for the first time, the Kosovo international was disappointed that it came in defeat.
Asked whether he has scored many better goals than today’s strike, Celina, who is 21 today, said: “I scored a better one in the U23s a couple of days ago! But it was the best professional goal, definitely.”
He added: “I’m just really pleased to get a goal, that’s what I want to do, score goals. Of course, it was nice to score on my birthday as well.”
The on-loan Manchester City youngster, who also scored a late goal in the Carabao Cup defeat at Crystal Palace, says he doesn’t only score spectacular strikes: “I think I can score any kind of goal.”
Regarding the result, he added: “We’re really disappointed and I’m really disappointed for everyone as well. I think we would have been the better team if we’d worked harder than them but it just didn’t happen today.”
Celina’s time at Town has begun slowly - his only starts so far came in the Carabao Cup ties at Luton and Crystal Palace - but he is targeting a Championship debut - to go alongside sub appearances against Fulham and today - in the next couple of weeks.
“I’ve been struggling with illness and obviously the team have been doing really well,” he said. “It’s been hard but it’s time for me now in the next couple of games or the next game.”
Celina was on loan at FC Twente last season and he says the Championship is a very different league to the Dutch top flight.
“It’s a lot quicker and more physical,” he reflected. “I think the players are better as well. It’s just a better league than the Eredivisie where there are more young players. It’s different here.”
“People think I’m not the type of player to play in a league like this but I think I am and I just need to get the dirty part of my game and then just keep playing well.”
Why might people think that? “Maybe I’m a bit small compared to the other guys and skinny, but I’m smart and I’ve got technique and I can play football, so as long as I do the hard work and try and win the ball. When I get the ball it’s not an issue.”
Does he feel manager Mick McCarthy has belief in him? “I think he does. He’s been waiting for the right opportunity to play me, I think.
“I came from Manchester City to play games, that’s why he brought me here and I don’t see a reason why he shouldn’t start me next game.”
Raised in Norway before joining Manchester City as a 15-year-old, Celina says making the grade with his parent club remains his long-term aim.
“There is a lot of competition and maybe not now, maybe not in a couple of years, but I know I’ll be good enough for that level one day,” he insisted.
“You have to have that confidence. I’ve always been like that, I always set high goals and I just work really hard for it and good things happen. I just want to stay fit and not get any injuries.”
He believes his best position is in the centre of midfield rather than out wide: “I think I’m more an attacking midfield player behind the strikers, but I can play on the right wing, left wing, as a striker, everywhere.”
Celina says the Blues have six very potent front players in their squad: “We have some good technical attacking players now, myself as well, and hopefully we’ll use that in the next couple of games.”
He says he’s quickly settled into life in Ipswich, despite his illness and consequent lack of games: “I’m really enjoying it, I like the city, everything is just great.”
Regarding his plans for his 21st birthday celebrations, he added: “I'm just going to be with my girlfriend and her family and see what happens.”
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