Celina Loving Life at Town
Monday, 6th Nov 2017 06:00
Blues loanee Bersant Celina says he’s loving life at Town with his team-mates at Portman Road ”the best guys [he] has ever played with". The 21-year-old, who is on loan from Manchester City for the season, netted a brilliant sixth goal for the Blues in only his sixth start in all competitions, in addition to seven sub appearances, to seal Saturday’s 3-0 home victory over Preston North End.
“I’m really pleased for myself to score, also for the team and all the fans,” Celina said afterwards.
“I saw the opportunity as the full-back wasn’t there and just went for it. As soon as Jordan [Spence] played the ball the only thing on my mind was to go for it and score. I love to score goals and I’m happy I’m doing that right now.”
Contrary to speculation, Celina, who spent last season on loan in Holland with FC Twente, says he's throughly enjoying life at Portman Road.
“I really love it here at Ipswich,” he insisted. “These are the best guys I have ever played with – they are amazing. They are all really good friends and it’s is such a good team to play in. I’m really happy and in a really good place right now.
“It is unusual [that a team are such good friends], that’s why I say it is the best team I have been in.”
Town’s first goal came via a Martyn Waghorn freekick with the decision to hand the Blues’ eight-goal top scorer the ball perhaps a surprise after Celina’s excellent set-piece strike at Burton last week.
“Martyn felt confident about the freekick so I said to take it,” the Kosovo international added.
“We’re never going to argue about that sort of thing. He’s a great freekick taker and he proved it. I trust him and he trusts me.
“As for Joe [Garner], he’s amazing. I’ve never seen anyone his size fight against big defenders and win headers like he does. That’s why he plays every week.
“If we play like we did today and keep working hard then we’re going to win games and push for the top six.”
The Blues ended Saturday in seventh, just a point off the play-offs, but Middlesbrough’s 1-0 win at home to Sunderland on Sunday saw Town drop to eighth, now two points away from the top six.
“There is not a lot between fourth and seventh and if we keep grabbing wins we will get there,” the Norway-raised attacker continued. “It is good we have a lot of different goalscorers.”
Celina, who has scored in each of his last three games, confirmed last week’s ambiguous ‘two months until new year. Can't wait’ tweet had nothing to do with football, but admitted to frustration earlier on in his spell with Town and says he spoke to boss Mick McCarthy when he wasn't so regularly involved in the first team.
“Of course I have been frustrated because I love playing,” he said. “I have spoken to the manager about that and I understand some of the reasons he did not play me so much.
“He is trusting me a lot more now and I really appreciate that and just want to do well. It helps when I score every week. It makes everyone happy, I’m happy now.”
Celina, who has previously won eight full caps, scoring one international goal, will spend the next fortnight with the Kosovo U21s squad, who are playing European Championships qualifiers at home to Israel on Thursday and in Azerbaijan on the following Tuesday.
“I have two games coming up with my national team and I will take them first and look forward to coming back. I will be here as long as I can be – I’m happy.”
Regarding the Town support, with whom he has quickly become a hero, Celina added: “I really appreciate the fans, they can see I’m giving everything.”
Preston skipper Paul Huntington felt there was little in Saturday’s game until Waghorn’s opener in first-half injury time.
“There wasn’t much in the game until they scored,” he said. “We missed chances and that’s been the story of late.
“We will be a lot better when people get back fit. Having seven or eight defenders out doesn’t help then we lost another, [Darnell Fisher].
“Any team would struggle with that many players and out and the game ran away from us in the second half.
“I have never known anything like this. It is pretty much two back fours out injured. What can we do though? We just have to get on with it.
“The international break has come at a good time for us and we will try and get two or three players back for the Bolton game.”
Meanwhile, Town's U23s are in action against Aston Villa in the Premier League Cup at Portman Road this evening with midfielder Emy Huws expected to be involved as he continues his recovery from his achilles injury (KO 7pm).
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