Celina: My Best Goal So Far
Monday, 29th Nov 2021 10:50
Bersant Celina believes his brilliant chip against Crewe is the best goal of his career so far and was delighted to see work on the training field come off in a game.
Celina’s excellent chip sent the Blues in 2-0 up at half-time, Alex defender Luke Offord having scored an early own goal, with the visitors pulling a goal back via Chris Long in the second half.
Asked whether he has ever scored a better goal, Celina said: “I think this was the best so far. I know I’ve got some more stuffed in my locker, so hopefully maybe now or in a couple of years, you never know.”
The Kosovan international said he was delighted to see the ball nestle in the back of the net: “I was as surprised as anyone but I practised it many times, you know when you’re a kid you always practise stuff like that, so it’s good to see it coming off in a game.
“I made my mind up straight away, it was just a split-second decision, I just looked up and saw it was on.”
Celina says he noticed Crewe keeper Dave Richards off his line as he took down George Edmundson’s long ball forward, hardly an easy skill in itself.
“When I touched it, I just had a quick look and just felt like he was probably off his line,” he recalled. “In my peripheral vision? Yes, I just saw him on the side and I thought ‘Yeah!’.
“The first touch, you practise stuff like that and in the end it will come off. I have practised [taking down a long ball like that] many times. I’m just happy it came off in a game.”
The forward was pleased to score for the first time in front of the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand: “It’s the first one I’ve scored at this end, so that was on my mind all the time, I’ve never scored in the first half playing this way. So that was good for me.”
Would anyone else in the division have attempted the chip? “Probably we have some in the team that would. I know Chappers [Conor Chaplin] would try it.”
For once the 25-year-old’s shirt stayed on in his celebration.“[Kit man James] Pullen’s told me to keep it on so I had to keep it on,” he laughed.
Reflecting on the significance of the game within the game, he added: “It was important. I think we should have scored more but we’ll take the three points.
“The most important thing was to win the game and we did. Fair play to them as well, they made it difficult for us in the second half.”
Why were Town unable to kill the game off having had plenty of chances? “I think we were unlucky. Macca [Macauley Bonne] had some great chances, you know normally he would score them and Kyle [Edwards] had a big chance.
“I think on another day they’ll score, you see them do it in training every day, it’s just a shame it didn’t come off today.
“It’s really important that we kick on from here. We need to try and get more than just two wins in a row, our goal is to win three games, four, and hopefully we can start doing that.”
The win moved Town up to 11th but still seven points off the play-offs and 11 from the top two. Despite that, Celina still feels Town are in with a shout of promotion.
“I believe we can just because of the players we have,” he insisted. “You see some games, even when we lost against Sunderland, we were the better team and we lost. I think when it does come together we will start winning games, that’s how I feel.”
He added: “We lost the two games and the most important thing today was to win and we’ll take the next game on Wednesday, the two cup games and then Charlton away, we want to win all of them.”
Celina joined the Blues on loan from Dijon on deadline day in August having had a pre-season interrupted by Covid and then pericarditis. However, he now feels he is at the top of his fitness.
“I feel like I have energy in the last 10 minutes of the games and you see the gaffer doesn’t take me off, he keeps me on to try and win the game,” he said.
“That’s because I think he knows that I’m fit now and can make the difference at the end of the games as well.”
Celina has now scored four times since returning to the club but believes he should have more with last week’s misses at Sunderland still rankling.
“I should be scoring more than that,” he continued. “Obviously I missed two unbelievable chances at Sunderland, so it was important for me to score today. I was really frustrated, I still am.”
Having been free-scoring for most of the season so far - only the MK Dons have netted more than Town’s 36 in League One - latterly goals have been harder to come by with the Blues having failed to register in the three matches prior to Saturday.
Asked why that might have been the case, Celina said: “I don’t know, I think teams come here and when we play against teams they study us and see how we’re playing, man-marking us. I don’t know.
“You’ve seen we’ve been a bit unlucky as well, the chances I had at Sunderland should have been easy goals for me and today [the chances for] Macca.
“You know we should be scoring more, especially today, so I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.”
Town now have two cup games, the Papa John’s Trophy match against Arsenal’s U21s at Portman Road on Wednesday and then Barrow’s visit in the FA Cup on Saturday. Celina says he’s keen to be involved in every game.
“I always want to play, even if it’s against an U18s team or U21s, I don’t care, I want to play,” he said.
“But I understand that others have to have their chances as well. We need everyone to keep fit and to play and they deserve their chance as well. But hopefully I can play a part.”
Photos: TWTD/Matchday Images
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