David Nugent: I could have signed for Ipswich Town on three occasions
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich v Leicester: Ipswich Town nemesis David Nugent has no regrets about not joining the club he keeps on coming back to haunt.
The 28-year-old striker kept up his incredible goal scoring record against the Blues on Saturday, two clinical second-half finishes securing Leicester City a 2-1 come-from-behind win at Portman Road.
That’s now 13 goals in 12 games against Ipswich, the Merseysider having scored on all seven occasions he’s played on Suffolk soil – something made even more frustrating when you consider that he has slipped through the Blues’ net on three occasions in the past.
“I like it here – I just wish I could play here every week!” joked the front man. “I’ve had my chances to do that actually.
“Ipswich wanted me when I was first coming through at Bury, but I was young (20) and decided it was too far away. I ended up moving to Preston.
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“Then, when I was at Portsmouth, I was coming back from a hernia operation and Jim Magilton gave me a call and asked if I fancied a loan here.
“I didn’t want to come to a club, having not played for three months, and not look my sharpest. I decided not to make the move, concentrate on getting fit at Portsmouth and we won the FA Cup that year – so I think I made the right decision.
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“I’d heard strong rumours that Ipswich wanted me again two years ago (under Paul Jewell’s management), but as soon as Leicester showed interest my mind was made up.”
Blues boss Mick McCarthy quipped after the game that he hopes Leicester, level on points with both Burnley and QPR at the top of the table, get promoted so that Ipswich see the back of Nugent. It’s a sentiment that most Blues fans probably share after the self-titled ‘pantomime villain’ of Portman Road once again quietened the boos.
“It’s friendly banter here,” said Nugent. “When I hit one out for a throw-in in the first half they gave me a bit of stick, but I always like to come back with the last laugh.
“We were poor in the first half and we got told about it as well. It could have been any one of us who came off at half-time and I was sitting there nervously thinking it might be me.”
Nugent, who is out-of-contract this summer, has already scored 10 goals this season but prior to the weekend had been criticised by some Foxes fans for not scoring enough from open play – six of his goals having been penalties.
“People have said I’m not scoring enough goals, but I’m on 10 for the season now!” said Nugent. “I know six of them have been pens, but this is the first season I’ve been on penalties.
“All the previous seasons when I’ve been the leading goalscorer they’ve all been from open play. If they want to get on my back I don’t care, I’m doing it for the team, the playing staff and the coaching staff here.”