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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).

Photos: TWTD

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WaffleMan added 06:35 - Nov 6
Top class player playing under a poor manager. Can’t believe McCarthy has the balls to threaten to not play him. MICK OUT

Normandyblue added 07:26 - Nov 6
Don't often post. Say what you like about Mcarthy, there is no doubt he has the ability to assemble a squad of average players and get te best out of them with his turgid brand of football which thankfully I am too far away to watch on a regular basis. There is a counter-argument that he gets the worst out of class players, but the fact is he is able to build off a team spirit that obviously stems from loyalty towards players that are loyal to him. He has had some excellent bargains over the years, and plays the loan market well, under the current regime what more can we hope for?

Decent football, I hear you cry. Good luck with that. Anyway, been supporting the boys from home and afar for 40 years, I find stoicism helps.

osborne added 07:28 - Nov 6
Man City sent him here to learn discipline and hard work. Seems like Mick is succeeding with that. Well done to both of them I'd say.

Sospiri added 07:48 - Nov 6
I just think that its another sign of Mick's style. I think every team should have a star attraction like Celina on match day, someone who can create something from nothing, and keep the crowds coming through the turnstiles. The fact that Mick doesn't speaks volumes.

Mark added 07:48 - Nov 6
Fraser was very good, Lawrence excellent, now Celina could turn out to be the best of the three. Scoring every game he starts and just adding such an injection of positivity into the team, brilliant! Hopefully the odd situation of Celina being left out so much is behind us and we can now enjoy seeing him week-in-week-out. That could make such a difference to our season. It will be hard for opposition teams to stifle him, as if they put resource into stopping Celina the likes of McGoldrick and Wagnorn will then florish. It could make it a very interesting season, especially when the injured midfielders return. COYB!

parkinshair added 08:10 - Nov 6
Good news as losing Celina in January would have seen any hopes of the playoffs evaporate. I'm sure he's a little happier than he was a few weeks ago when he was sitting on the side lines and you can understand his frustration. Watching the likes of Sears getting picked ahead of him he must have wondered what more he had to do. It would be interesting to know what the ambiguous "can't wait for New year" tweet was about though. Maybe he just got tickets to the panto at The Regent or something.

Guthrum added 08:13 - Nov 6
Lawrence took a little while to get going, about the end of October. Maybe Celina is the same.

In some ways he's better for us than Lawrence was. The latter's main contribution was his long-range goals, whereas Celina seems to be able to score from all over the place.

I hope that comment was tongue-in-cheek Sospiri. It was McCarthy who brought Celina here and he has played in every one of the last 12 matches in all competitions.

jas0999 added 08:33 - Nov 6
Like I said on Saturday, his goal was the real highlight and worth the entrance fee alone. Class player. Mick MUST now stick with him. No reason not to. Three goals in three games. Excellent.

muccletonjoe added 08:44 - Nov 6
Good news post about celina somehow turns into yet another gripe about mick mcCarthy. Speaking for myself - Give it a rest will ya.

BanksterDebtSlave added 08:59 - Nov 6
Celina in 'not ruined by dino-Mick and looking forward to seeing family at New Year' shocker !

Bobbychase added 09:23 - Nov 6
You've got to be a special kind of thick to turn this story into a Mick Out post.

guentchev added 09:31 - Nov 6
Like MIck or not, the table doesn't lie. We are in 7th place and we haven't spent anything like the teams around us. We are even above Norwich, with their monstrous salary bill. Comments like this by Celina and Garner show there is good morale around the club. The football is shocking at times, but facts are facts.

Kikapu added 09:33 - Nov 6
At last we get some knowledgeable contributors making comments. Great to read.

coolcat added 09:36 - Nov 6
Great news to see Celina settling down ok . He is very keen but this is natural with his being so young. Life can be tough as a footballer & you can come down to earth with a great big bump at times. You can be very talented, but I think you get the best out of someone when they gel with the team.

coolcat added 09:51 - Nov 6
Just wanted to add I liked Celina's his post match interview. Don't often comment on interviews. Just noticed he didn't just say good win etc. I like the way he spoke about the match, his teammates & the freekick Waghorn took.

Rensham added 10:14 - Nov 6
A like for like replacement for Lawrence, worth several million pounds and Big Mick not sure how to use him? Play him and goals will come.

bluetit added 10:40 - Nov 6
Mick Out

NSL added 10:43 - Nov 6
Celina is a very good championship player, nothing more than that yet. Absolitely nothing wrong with that and he is the type of player we would have signed permanently 10 years ago or so to become a hero. Unfortunately he'll end up back at Man City and be loaned out to the next club come the summer. Such is the sad reality these days

SamWhiteUK added 11:09 - Nov 6
Love the pic

BlueBlood90 added 12:04 - Nov 6
You can always tell whether we've won or lost at the weekend by the comments on here. Suddenly McCarthy can do no wrong when last week everyone wanted blood. If Celina had started playing Celina 6 weeks ago (like he should have been) then I'm sure we would've had more points on the board right now. Yes McCarthy is doing a fairly good job on a 'small budget' but we're paying these players top 10 wages in the league and only beating the poorer sides in the division so I won't be getting carried away with my praise like the above comments.

BlueBlood90 added 12:06 - Nov 6
^^^ If McCarthy had started playing Celina 6 weeks ago that should say

SpiritOfJohn added 12:32 - Nov 6
This guy has gone from unselectable to undroppable in just over a week. Well done, Bersant!

IpswichT62OldBoy added 13:11 - Nov 6
Good to hear about the spirit in the squad, it is a solid basis for progress.

runningout added 13:12 - Nov 6
MM has been spot on with Celina starts and non starts I reckon. We could do with a hard working ball winning midfielder in January. Bishop and Hyam NOT the answer

pragmatic added 14:51 - Nov 6
Spirit in the squad is certainly stronger than some of the so called supporters who continue to knock mick/ Evans/ & would even blame the club if it rains tomorrow! Grow some & try something positive you may even like it!! Now mark me down for voicing my option lol!!

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