Quaner: Everything is Still in Our Own Hands
Thursday, 10th Jan 2019 17:14
Loan signing Collin Quaner has arrived at Town with one thought uppermost in his mind – to score the goals that will win games and enable the club to avoid relegation.
It may look a tall order with Paul Lambert’s men stranded at the foot of the table, 10 points plus goal difference from safety, but Quaner has embraced the confidence that still exists in the Town camp as they head towards Saturday’s home clash with relegation rivals Rotherham.
Victory over the Millers will cut the gap between the clubs to seven points with 19 games left to play. Anything less for Town and their task will become even more difficult and, some would say, well-nigh impossible.
When asked if he felt Town could beat the drop Quaner replied: “Definitely. To be honest, if there is one league in the world where you can achieve it, it’s the Championship.
“Everything is still in our own hands and the way the gaffer wants to play is exactly how I believe we should play, being aggressive, being on the front foot, putting our opponents under pressure, creating chances and getting the fans behind us.
“I have played in a similar situation in the past in Germany and we always played that kind of football. This is what we are looking to do here.
“I knew when I spoke to the gaffer face to face that I would like to play for him. He told me how he wanted me to play up top like a number nine and that suited me.”
Lambert has even chatted to Quaner in German, the Town boss having played for Borussia Dortmund, famously picking up a Champions League winner’s medal in 1997 when his contribution to the 3-1 final victory over Juventus was mainly to do a marking job on French playmaker Zinedine Zidane.
During his time as a manager Lambert has maintained close connections with Germany and over the years he has visited most of the leading clubs to broaden his coaching knowledge and built up some valuable contacts.
Quaner laughed: “I like the way he throws some German words into the conversation and his German is not bad to be honest.
“To be honest, when I was growing up I didn’t know about the gaffer and what he achieved. I was a bit young at the time but when you become a professional you get to know some history about the game, especially in Germany, and I knew about him playing for Dortmund.
“When he was at Dortmund the assistant coach to Ottmar Hitzveld was Michael Henke, who was also my coach at Ingolstadt, so we spoke about that.”
Quaner is also aware that his debut against Rotherham will be witnessed by a contingent of fans from his first club, Fortuna Düsseldorf, who are making their annual pilgrimage to Portman Road as part of an ongoing relationship with their Ipswich counterparts.
Quaner admitted: “It is quite funny and also very exciting. I have been told about the friendship between the fans of both clubs and I think there are about 100 fans coming here on Saturday. It will be a special game for me.
“Düsseldorf is where I was born, grew up and played my youth football. I grew up as a fan of Fortuna and watched all their games. I was even a ballboy and then I signed for them; they were my first club.
“My parents still live there and all my friends are there. There is definitely a strong connection to Fortuna.
“Fortuna are a big traditional club in Germany and their fans are crazy. Every home game they have 50,000 fans or something like that, which is amazing, and they are a great club.”
Quaner has no idea where his future lies beyond the end of the season but added: “I wouldn’t say anything is finished for me at Huddersfield. I don’t look too far into the future and prefer to concentrate on the present.
“This is a new chapter, a new challenge, and we’ll see how everything goes. It just makes sense to be fully focused on Ipswich and we’ll see what happens in the summer.”
But he knows how loan players can make a huge impact, citing the example of Watford winger Dodi Lukebakio, who is on loan at Fortuna from the Hornets and recently scored a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw against Bayern Munich that put him into the record books as the first player in Bundesliga history to score three goals past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
The 21-year-old Belgian was also on target as Borussia Dortmund suffered their first league defeat of the season to Fortuna and Quaner said: “It is a good example of what can happen when a player goes out on loan. We all see it as an opportunity to get minutes and build confidence. You never know where you are going to end up.”
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