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Ipswich Town fans want Bersant Celina to start against Bolton on Saturday

PUBLISHED: 12:40 12 September 2017

Ipswich Town attacker Bersant Celina has started both Carabao Cup games, but been restricted to two substitute appearances in the Championship. Photo: PAGEPIX

Ipswich Town attacker Bersant Celina has started both Carabao Cup games, but been restricted to two substitute appearances in the Championship. Photo: PAGEPIX

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Ipswich Town fans have called upon Mick McCarthy to hand exciting attacker Bersant Celina his full Championship debut when struggling Bolton Wanderers visit Portman Road this Saturday.

The Manchester City loanee marked his 21st birthday with a stunning late consolation goal in last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Queens Park Rangers having been introduced off the bench in the 76th minute.

His start to life with the Blues has been disrupted badly by recurring illness, but the confident Kosovan international insists he’s now ready to shine.

Blues supporters agree. Hundreds voted in an online poll yesterday and an overwhelming majority of 97% said they felt he should start at the weekend.

“I’ve been struggling with illness and obviously the team have been doing really well,” said Celina. “It’s been hard, but it’s time for me now in the next couple of games or the next game.

“I came from Manchester City to play games, that’s why he (McCarthy) brought me here and I don’t see a reason why he shouldn’t start me next game.

“There is a lot of competition (at Man City) and maybe not now, maybe not in a couple of years, but I know I’ll be good enough for that level one day.

“You have to have that confidence. I always set high goals and I just work really hard for it and good things happen.”

McCarthy said last week: “He does (good) things that you’re not able to coach. And he also does things that you wouldn’t coach!

“If we get him in the final third with the ball and he can do his bit then he’s a real threat. My criticism of him at Crystal Palace (in the Cup) was ‘don’t give the bloody ball away’. We’ve explained that to him.”

Speaking after Saturday’s game, the Blues boss said: “He showed what his qualities are and he’s done himself a lot of good for being in the team.”

Celina, who was on loan at Dutch top-flight side FC Twente last season, said: “People think I’m not the type of player to play in a league like this but I think I am. I just need to get the dirty part of my game and then just keep playing well.

“Maybe I’m a bit small compared to the other guys and skinny, but I’m smart and I’ve got technique and I can play football.”

He added: “We have some good technical attacking players now, myself as well, and hopefully we’ll use that in the next couple of games.”

FA Youth Cup Fourth Round

Ipswich Town U18s 2

Dagenham & Redbridge U18s 1

Ipswich Town’s U18 Academy boss Alan Lee praised his side after they progressed in the FA Youth Cup after beating Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1 at Portman Road last night.

FA Youth Cup

Ipswich Town 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

Ipswich Town U18 Academy boss Alan Lee is hoping his young charges can keep up the proud Blues tradition of success in youth football, with victory against Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tonight, at Portman Road, 7pm ko.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes young defender Chris Smith returned from his loan spell at Chelmsford ‘more of a bloke’ and is hopeful he has a first team future.

Ipswich Town U23 3

QPR 0

Ben Morris hit a brace and Aaron Drinan opened his account in a blue shirt as an experienced Ipswich Town under 23 side eased past QPR 3-0 at Playford Road today, writes Kieren Standley.

FA Women’s Premier League

South East Division One

Ipswich Town 9

Haringey Borough 0

Ipswich Town Ladies bounced back from last Sunday’s disappointing FA Cup exit to Charlton with an emphatic 9-0 trouncing of bottom of the league Haringey Borough at the Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe, writes Kieren Standley.

Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen is set to appeal the red card given to Eunan O’Kane following his altercation with Jonas Knudsen.

Episode Six: Stuart Watson and Andy Warren are back for another episode of the Kings of Anglia podcast to discuss the win over Leeds, Portman Road atmosphere and the latest transfer news.

Bersant Celina revealed just how much the adulation of the Ipswich Town fans means to him after his latest match-winning effort.

It’s that kind of season. Just when everything seems to be miserable, and the fans’ anger is mounting, along comes a victory to lighten the mood. At least temporarily, writes Northstander Terry Hunt.

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