Frustrated Pablo speaks out

Premier ReserveLeague (South)Ipswich Town 1Norwich City 2FRUSTRATED Pablo Counago notched his third goal in as many reserve games but is convinced nothing he does will secure him a regular run in the first team, writes Derek Davis.

Premier Reserve

League (South)

Ipswich Town 1

Norwich City 2

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FRUSTRATED Pablo Counago notched his third goal in as many reserve games but is convinced nothing he does will secure him a regular run in the first team, writes Derek Davis.

The Spaniard believes his being left out of the side has now got nothing to do with football.

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He told the EADT: "It is hard knowing that even if I score and do well the manager doesn't want me and won't pick me.

"A lot of people can see what is going on and it is a difficult situation for me.

"I don't really understand why I'm not getting the chance. I have started just two games and I have come off the bench, but it doesn't matter if I score or do well, I will always be taken off or left out next time.

"I know it is not about my football. I'm fit, I'm scoring, I'm training well and I'm doing well when I play in the first team.

"Something is happening that is not to do with football. The manager doesn't want me here and everyone can see that.

"It is really hard for me to know what to do. After every game I try to work out what more I can do but I know it is not really in my hands, it is down to other people.

"All I can do is keep going and when I do get a chance do the best I can, but it is really difficult for me."

His 83rd-minute consolation goal could not prevent Town going down at home to Norwich reserves in their first meeting in four years. It follows goals for the Spaniard in defeats against Arsenal and Leicester in the past fortnight.

Counago added: "It is good to score a goal but it is more important to win games and we are not doing that. We have a lot of very young players and sometimes it is difficult for them too."

Norwich went ahead courtesy of some poor defending when Jerrome Sobers failed to deal with a long clearance from Scottish international keeper Paul Gallacher and Danny Crow ran through to finish well past the exposed Shane Supple midway through the first half.

Town had little in the way of chances in the first half, Darryl Knights producing a weak climax to a good build-up involving Aidan Collins, Ian Westlake and Counago.

Sobers compounded a poor night by putting into his own net three minutes after the break when he inadvertently redirected a low Jim Brennan cross past his own keeper.

The dejected defender was replaced by full-back Michael Synott, with Chris Hogg moving to centre half.

Supple was down well to a free-kick from former Charlton striker Mathias Svensson. Like Phil Mulryne and Ryan Jarvis, the Swede has barely figured in the Canaries first team this season and was looking to impress Nigel Worthington's right hand man Steve Foley, who was in the crowd.

Likewise, Westlake and Counago were pushing for a first team return and, with Darren Bent a doubt with a hamstring, the Spaniard may get his wish if Town stick with three-up- front, but if they revert to a four-man midfield the water-polo star could be back, although he made little impact in this game.

Substitute Owen Garvan showed some neat ball control in the box but Matt Halliday cleared before he could apply the killer finish.

Counago was more direct and far deadlier seven minutes from time to unshackle the defensive chains, bursting through from an angle to side foot neatly past Gallacher.


Ipswich Town: Supple, Hogg, Craig, Mitchell, Sobers (Synott, 49) Collins, Flack (Atay, 66), Murray, Counago, Knights and Westlake. Subs not used: Guentchev and Hammond.

Norwich City: Gallacher, Cave-Brown, Brennan, Mulryne, Shackell, Halliday, Blackburn (Howlett, 81) Crow, Svensson, Jarvis and Smith. Subs not used: Herbert, Eagle, Howell and Fisk.

Referee: Darren Cann (Norwich)

Attendance: 1,314.

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