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Sears: No Hostility at Stadium of Light
Monday, 5th Feb 2018 09:14

Returning Town striker Freddie Sears says the Blues were comfortable once they scored their goals in Saturday’s 2-0 victory against Sunderland with the atmosphere at the Stadium of Light a less than hostile one.

Joe Garner gave the Blues the lead on 35 and Adam Matthews turned a Grant Ward cross into his own net ahead of Sears for the second in first-half injury time.

The 48,707-capacity Stadium of Light, where Town had never previously won and had lost on their previous seven visits, was half-empty as the Blues took on the second-bottom Black Cats.

While the gate was officially 27,909, the actual crowd watching the game was thought to be a lot lower with all clubs including non-attending season ticket holders in their attendance total.

“You could see Sunderland’s heads dropped as soon as we scored the first goal,” Sears said.

“Goals change games because they started well and were on top, so we had to weather a bit of a storm.

“We knew if we could get the first goal it would change everything. After the second goal, it really did turn. You see it all the time, teams at the bottom.

“They have a spell and as soon as they go behind, it’s the same old story as if ‘here we go again’. We’ve been in that position and we know what it feels like.

“Especially at a stadium like this, it’s a Premier League stadium, so when they’re struggling in the Championship and getting beaten by a lot of teams, you know their fans are going to turn and that can only be a good thing for the opposition.

“Coming to a ground like this can play into the hands of the opposition, you raise your game, the facilities are great.

“Their team is struggling so it’s a nice place to come to play your football. There’s no hostility against you, nothing like that. As soon as we got the goals, it felt very comfortable.”

Sears was making his first start since Boxing Day and is still looking for his first senior goal of 2017/18 having last scored in the 3-1 home victory over Newcastle in April, now 30 appearances ago.

The 28-year-old says the own goal wasn’t one he could claim, despite his team-mates' attempts to make it look like his.

“I think the lads wanted me to have it, the way they celebrated with me,” he added. “But it’s going to go down as an own goal.”

Meanwhile, the Town U23s are in action against Colchester United at their Florence Park training ground this afternoon (KO 1pm).

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midastouch added 09:36 - Feb 5
"While the gate was officially 27,909, the actual crowd watching the game was thought to be a lot lower with all clubs including non-attending season ticket holders in their attendance total."
That would explain why our gates often look lower than the official attendance figures as well then.
Very pleased with the result on Saturday, full credit to the team and management. My only concern is with Celina relegated to bench on Saturday it might mean he doesn't get a chance to work his magic against Norwich and that would be a big concern for me. I really want to give him a chance against Norwich (given he was left on the bench last time till it was too late) to see if he can work an unforgettable moment of EA derby magic. If he doesn't start at least give him 30 minutes or so to give him a chance to have an impact on the game at Carrot Road.

guentchev added 10:27 - Feb 5
Sears really needs to score a goal....he's got the speed he just needs a bit of luck...deflection...anything....even if the opposition kicks it against him and it goes in...
Will do his confidence world of good to get off the mark.

Midastouch- fully agree...hopefully Celina will start.

ArnieM added 10:45 - Feb 5
I feel so sorry for Freddie, as I think McCarthy has ruined his game buy playing him as a wide man . He is a central striker. and when he came in to cover for Injured Murphy and the McGoldric k , he was scoring goals for fun.

Warkys_Tash added 10:45 - Feb 5
Although Sears played well, for me Celina has to start the next two games. If McCarthy doesnt, he he will probably get a backlash from the fans. All Town fans want to see Celina start against Norwich and they will fear him, no doubt.

itsonlyme added 11:42 - Feb 5
Agree Ceilna must start the next two games.

Karlosfandangal added 13:35 - Feb 5
Take note Town fans......when you are getting beat the fans turn which is only a good thing for the opposition.... well said Freddie

BraveDave added 13:54 - Feb 5
I don't think there's a player that I am more desperate to return to form than Freddie. He always works his socks off, but has clearly lost his way. If he can get back to what he was, then he would be a definite starter, but atm I can't see him justifying a starting place. Very sad, and I hope McCarthy's faith in him is rewarded soon.

Northstandveteran added 14:52 - Feb 5
Always thought Freddie a great little player.
Some have said on here that Mick has knocked his confidence by playing him out of position but a return to form for would be very much welcomed for the final part of the season.
I still think the play offs are out of reach, but it would be good to finish the season with our players fit and on good form so we can all be optimistic (for the 18th season in a row 😂!) For the next campaign

Toepunt added 18:06 - Feb 5
If Adam Matthews hadn't turned it in as an own goal Freddie would have had a tap in.
If Freddie hadn't got into the right position Adam Matthews wouldn't have turned it in.
That's the reason his team mates celebrated with him.
Freddie was responsible for the goal even if he didn't get the final touch.

blueboy1981 added 18:43 - Feb 5
BraveDave ....... don't question his ability for one second - REMEMBER he has hardly had a single game this season in his rightful position.
Anyone who questions his ability should learn the game - before criticising Freddie Sears this season, he has had a raw deal, and still worked his socks off, and done his best.

He deserves credit - not criticism.

BraveDave added 18:49 - Feb 5
Blueboy, I know you're trying to provoke an argument, so I'll just politely ask you to confirm where I questioned his ability and where I criticised him. I think I made it clear that I very much rate Freddie. But, as with the greatest players, he is going through a dip in form. Quite understandable, and I hope he's through it soon.

cat added 19:42 - Feb 5
Much as I like Freddie, I personally think he’s being overrated here. He’s not a no9, maybe he could play off a frontman or out wide, but it’s difficult to see where he fits in, he’s certainly not better than the current front 4. Can’t question his work rate or commitment, but where was he for most of last season when we needed him most? (from memory) the goals dried up for long periods and he went missing. Too inconsistent IMO!

blueboy1981 added 23:17 - Feb 5
BraveDave ...... just stating facts - nothing more - shame some cannot accept that, and continuously avoid issues that don't fit with there thinking .

Not justifying 'a place in the team' - isn't that questioning his current ability ? - not to mention 'lost his way' or 'dip in form' or 'back to form would be very much welcome' - all your words .... !!!

He just cannot be the same player in positions that are alien to him - he's not alone either - as many have correctly noted, and posted accordingly.

Polite answer to your question - like the answer , or not.

Down arrow - Gcon ? .... get the finger ready.

BlueBlood90 added 09:21 - Feb 6
You can't dislike Freddie. He gives 100% wherever he's asked to play. Unfortunately, he just isn't an out and out winger and never will be. He's best playing up front with a target man like Murph was. I don't think he'd wait too long before scoring a few goals if he was playing in his natural position.

SamWhiteUK added 09:35 - Feb 6
Always liked Freddie and we have seen that he can be a great little player. I also always feel sorry for him as he has clearly had his confidence completely shot by playing on the wing under McCarthy.

When I last spoke with a Norwich fan, he said that they used to hate when Sears would start for us against them, as they rated him as a threat, a quick little player who could cause a problem. A player they hated facing. Now, I dare say that wouldn't be the case.

Seasider added 15:05 - Feb 6
Interesting to see what the Manager will do on Saturday.

Will he bring Celina back ? Not sure;but looks like Mussy wont get in because Grant Ward had a good game on the other flank.

Knowing Mick,if there is too much of a clamour to play the Kosovan,Freddie will get another start.Bersant has started most games recently but his game had gone off a bit ;so thought it was the right decision to rest him on Saturday.

However if Sears does get the nod again,then I hope Santi will get a good stretch from the bench,and not just a few minutes as he was given earlier in the season.

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