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Celina: Plenty to Play For
Monday, 15th Jan 2018 06:00

Blues winning goalscorer Bersant Celina insists Town still have “plenty to play for” in the remaining months of the season with the four-point gap to the play-offs “not a lot”.

The 21-year-old, who is on loan for the campaign from Manchester City, smashed a brilliant winner in the 67th minute to see the Blues to Saturday’s 1-0 home victory over Leeds United, who had had Eunan O’Kane sent off in the 37th minute for head-butting Jonas Knudsen.

Kosovo international Celina was delighted with his strike, which he felt was up there with his finest, as well as with the three points.

“It was a good goal so I’m really happy for myself, the team and the fans,” he said. “It was definitely one of the best goals I have scored as a professional.”

Celina, who has now scored eight goals in 17 starts and nine sub appearances for the Blues, hopes the boss of his parent club, Pep Guardiola, catches his latest goal of the season contender.  

“I hope he sees it,” he added. “I don’t know how it works but I’m sure he will see it on a TV screen somewhere. I hope he is impressed.

“I’m really happy with Ipswich and playing games. I need to carry on for the next four months and help the team, keep playing and doing well.”

Saturday’s win ended a run of five games without a win and while the Blues remained 12th, they're now four points from the play-offs, a gap which Celina believes is surmountable.

“We still have plenty to play for," he insisted. "Everyone plays for the team and for themselves. I’m playing for my career.

“People are watching so you have to do your best. It is no good thinking the season is over or you are not playing for anything.

“Maybe for the older players that’s the case, but I’m sure the younger players want to do well in every single game.

“Crazy things happen in football and four points is not a lot. If we can win the next two games then everything can change.”

Next up are Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium next Saturday before a tough home match against leaders Wolves at Portman Road the following weekend.

The Trotters, who are 21st following Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Brentford, were one of the leading contenders to sign Celina on loan in the summer.

“I could have gone to Bolton but I chose Ipswich and I’m glad I did,” he confirmed. “Hopefully I can go there and score against them as well.”

Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips says Whites boss Thomas Christiansen was pleased with his team’s display despite the result.

“The manager and staff congratulated us on a good performance but we were unlucky to concede a goal, which can happen when you are down to 10 men,” he said.

“I didn’t see what happened with Eunan [regarding his sending off] so I can’t comment. That happens in football.”

Despite Leeds now having gone four games without a win in all competitions, Phillips says there’s no need for alarm bells to ring.

“I believe we are still on track,” he insisted. “We lost but we shouldn’t panic, we will go to Millwall and try and put it right against them.”

Meanwhile, Town's U23s are in action against QPR at Playford Road this afternoon (KO 1pm).

Elsewhere, Martin O'Neill has turned down the chance to become Stoke manager meaning his Republic of Ireland job won't become vacant.

Last week, one bookie made Blues manager Mick McCarthy the favourite to succeed O'Neill if he left his current role.

Photos: TWTD

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yungblue added 06:34 - Jan 15
4 points is not a lot in the championship, and there is a lot of points to play for. But the constant unpredictability of approaches from MM, questionable team selections will ultimately keep us at mid table this season I believe.

Frustrating as there is an abundance of attacking talent in this team- waghorn, Celina, didzy and garner. But the tactical approach from MM is awful.

Len_Brennan added 06:40 - Jan 15
Celina's comments about the older players; suggesting that for some of them there is already little to play for & without somebody watching they have little incentive to push themselves, is extremely worrying. Very reminiscent of what Shane Supple had to say when he lost belief in the game and just quit altogether a few years back.
I know Celina is a young lad who is somewhat impulsive in what he does & says at time, but it does have a certain ring of truth to it.

ChrisFelix added 08:03 - Jan 15
Thought we were lucky on Saturdays.if it had remained 11 aside I doubt we would have won.Good goal but I noticed he had so much space & the Leeds players stood off him

Northstandveteran added 08:21 - Jan 15
Unfortunately the play off system does tend to flatter and deceive.
We are 12th in a league of 24.
You really can't get more mid table than that.
Yes, this is a crazy league and it is more than possible to be in this position, have a good run and make the play offs.
Had we started the season poorly and gradually improved would be slightly more optimistic, however, since the opening couple of months we have slowly but surely dropped down the league.
Excellent goal, deserved of being the match winner but not sure there was much else to suggest we may go on a winning run and get back amongst the top 6.
I really do hope that I am proved wrong and that we still have something to play for going into the last few matches of the season to keep the fans interested.
Sticking with my pre season prediction.

PJewellisaGod added 08:34 - Jan 15
Good that he's so positive. Sadly I don't think we are a top six side though. Top half perhaps, but not top six.

Karlosfandangal added 08:44 - Jan 15
Not sure I want Town in the Prem after watch Liverpool and Man C.
Celina has talent but can’t get in the City team, same as Connelly Lawrence was the same but was sold by Leicester.
McGoldrick, Waghorn, Garner are they Prem players, Win promotion and MM will be going nowhere, will his current tactics work in the Prem
Town would need a huge rebuild in the summer. The only good thing would be the money Town got, however it would be back to the 9-0 Man U days and 6-0 Liverpool days.

Northstandveteran added 08:48 - Jan 15
With the exception of Wolves at home, with an all out "let's just go for it" attacking mentality, all of our remaining fixtures are winnable.
If only.........

cat added 08:57 - Jan 15
Big thanks to Celina for making Saturdays game worthwhile, cause if it were not for the sending off and that piece of brilliance, it would have been another master class in a match lacking entertainment and that’s what life under McCarthy is all about. If we win all good, draw or lose then we’re wondering why we bother. Great to get the 3 points though and I guess that’s what it has to be all about.

dirtydingusmagee added 09:51 - Jan 15
Karlosfandango that is a valid point as things stand, I would add that Evans would not be up for survival in premiership either, he has no idea ,the longer we just tread water season after season ,shows the club under present regime is going nowhere,and what you've got is as good as its likely to get. Milne can talk all he likes about plans and the owners desire, its all meaningless waffle, When Evans took over we all had to believe there was an ambition,sadly as the years have gone by,we are no further ahead and its apathy not ambition .THE CLUB NEEDS CHANGE.

PortmanTerrorist added 10:05 - Jan 15
Given the long history between our 2 Clubs, going right back to our formation, i find a strange symmetry between today's Arsenal and ITFC, albeit in different leagues.

- both seem accepting of losing players to 'bigger' Clubs
- both lack a plan B in any game
- both have long serving managers with top reputations for their league
- both have managers who are admired and respected outside their Club

And both Clubs are crying out for new leadership and investment !

Thank you Santi for turning another MM masterclass in how to clutch a draw from certain victory, into a decent day out at PR.

Lightningboy added 10:15 - Jan 15
Spot on karlosfandangal.

At least when Burley took us up the club had a decent structure about it and was continually improving plus we were backed by owners and a chairman who loved the club...I don’t want to see us in the prem under the current set-up,it would be embarrassing.

I bet Magical Vegas won’t believe their luck if we did go up.

Guthrum added 10:19 - Jan 15
Kaelos - we're not going to match Liverpool and Man C, but then most of the Prem isn't like them. Against the likes of Stoke, West Brom, Swansea or Crystal Palace (who only just beat our U23s), the playing field would be much more level.

Sunderland were a Prem team last season, but, like Wolves before, look like they're about to plunge straight through to League One.

afcfee added 11:10 - Jan 15
If you didn't look at the table but just read the comments in TWTD you would think we was near the bottom of the table. Only 4 points away with all the negativity, imagine if we started being positive.

Northstandveteran added 11:15 - Jan 15
Imagine if Mick McCarthy started being positive.......

dirtydingusmagee added 11:15 - Jan 15
what we need is a game in hand !

Northstandveteran added 11:19 - Jan 15

Rensham added 11:35 - Jan 15
We're not going anywhere until we get who's managing us for the rest of the season and next year.

Rensham added 11:36 - Jan 15
Sorted out.

Superblue95 added 12:18 - Jan 15
Good to see he is optimistic and in theory we are close to the play offs but in reality we are a million miles away. We are fortunate that we signed Celina Waghorn and Garner in the summer as without the three of them and Bart I don't think Sunderland would be the team propping up the table right now

pragmatic added 12:21 - Jan 15
What a load of depressing negative comments must be “blue” Monday & not in the support of itfc!! Coyb!!

jayessess added 13:21 - Jan 15
On a more realistic note, we're just 11 points away from avoiding the drop.

afcfee added 13:41 - Jan 15
Glad our players don't share the fans belief or we really would be in trouble.

Taricco_Fan added 17:52 - Jan 15
I like this guy. Beside his obvious talent he seems like a good character. Just a shame we will be able to secure his services on a permanent basis.

Taricco_Fan added 17:53 - Jan 15
*will not

Bert added 22:39 - Jan 15
I did not see a lack of desire by our two oldest players on Saturday so would be interesting to actually know what Celina meant. Perhaps it's his way of saying, understandably, that when you are young you want to impress more. We may never know.

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