Gaardsoe relishing facing Town
THOMAS Gaardsoe is looking forward to his first meeting with old club Ipswich Town but denies that it will be a grudge match, writes Derek Davis.The Dane reluctantly joined West Bromwich Albion but last night insisted he will not be looking to prove a point to the man who sold him at the end of July.
THOMAS Gaardsoe is looking forward to his first meeting with old club Ipswich Town but denies that it will be a grudge match, writes Derek Davis.
The Dane reluctantly joined West Bromwich Albion but last night insisted he will not be looking to prove a point to the man who sold him at the end of July.
Gaardsoe told me: "I have no bad feelings towards Joe Royle. He was under pressure to sell me and I know in a different situation he would have loved to have kept me but due to the financial problems he had to try and push me out.
"I have nothing but respect for Joe, he gave me my chance when he first went to Ipswich and I will always be grateful to him for that."
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The popular Dane is ready to let his talent speak for itself but knows it will be a sentimental game for him personally.
He said: "There are no hard feelings at all. It will be emotional, and I'm especially looking forward to thanking the Ipswich fans for being supportive all the time I was at Portman Road.
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"There will be a lot of talking before and after the match but I'm focusing 100% on the game.
"Everyone knows I did not want to leave Ipswich and how strong my feelings for the club are. But my thoughts are now completely for West Bromwich Albion. I have to do what I have to do. I will do my absolute best for them for 90 minutes and then go and enjoy a beer with the Ipswich lads afterwards."
Gaardsoe has been named man of the match for the past three games as The Baggies roared to the top of the table, including a 2-0 win over his former Town boss George Burley's Derby County.
He has been playing in the centre of a three at the back with Icelander Larus Sigurdsson on one side and Dutchman Joost Volmer on his left and they have already settled in well together, conceding just one goal in the past five matches.
Gaardsoe paid tribute to his new team-mates and added: "We didn't know each other at all but it has worked really well. They are both experienced players and it was easy to settle in with them.
"We also have an excellent goalkeeper in Russell Hoult and we have a hard-working team throughout.
"It helps a lot if the midfield does its job as well as ours does.
"All this has meant we have had a very good start. I missed the 4-1 defeat at Walsall but since then we have really knitted well."
While the Baggies are lording it at the top of the table, Gaardsoe looks at Town's position with sadness and genuinely hopes they can get out of trouble.
He said: "I still want Ipswich to do well but it will be difficult for them. I see Marcus Bent has gone out on loan and they do not have the biggest of squads anyway but I would still love for them to climb the table."
Gaardsoe completed his house move from Ipswich to the West Midlands last Friday and is already missing his mates.
He said: "We have a good happy squad here with a good bunch of lads but they live all over the place. It is not like Ipswich where we were all fairly close together, so the social side is not so good here."
West Brom are expecting a nigh-on sell-out at the 27,800 capacity Hawthorns, with Town selling their 2,000 allocation.