Gaardsoe thanks Town fanks

THOMAS Gaardsoe last night admitted the rousing reception given to him by Ipswich Town supporters at West Bromwich brought a tear to the great Dane's eye.

THOMAS Gaardsoe last night admitted the rousing reception given to him by Ipswich Town supporters at West Bromwich brought a tear to the great Dane's eye.

Gaardsoe wanted to thank Blues supporters through the EADT, for their 'wonderful support' and apologise for not going over to them at the end of the game.

He said: "The Ipswich supporters were unbelievable and the way they treated me was brilliant but very emotional. They are really special to me.

"Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to go to them and show my thanks properly so I would like to do that now. Thank you."

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Gaardsoe's name was greeted by cheers when the teams were announced before the game and after he had given the Baggies the lead the Blues fans applauded his name again when it was given as first goal-scorer.

After being told by Joe Royle he was no longer a part of his plans and sold for £520,000, there was a certain inevitability that Gaardsoe would score and go on to have a storming match in a good Albion side.

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The Dane made it clear all along he did not want to leave Ipswich but accepted his fate.

He said: "I know some people were having a bet on me to be first goal-scorer so I was happy to oblige. The Ipswich fans showed they know the whole situation and that I wanted to stay but I have moved on now.

"It was strange for me on Saturday because I was really pleased to score but at the same time very sad to see the way Ipswich are going."

Gaardsoe showed there were no hard feelings after the game when he met with his former boss and the pair hugged. He said: "It was a great moment for me to see Joe and embrace as we did. There was nothing personal, it's just football and you get on with it.

"I hope Ipswich get their first win soon, three points against Walsall would be a good start and I'm sure they would go on from that."

Royle said in his pre-match press conference that he did not think Gaardsoe would be a factor in the match but afterwards acknowledged the defender's influence.

He said: "Drissa got blocked, which is not a complaint that happens, it was good play from them. It is called Sod's Law. It doesn't really bother me that it was Thomas, I don't feel any better if it is someone I don't know or someone I do know."

Baggies boss Gary Megson, never one to go over the top in praise for his players, added: "Thomas played well. He has a tendency at time to be a bit sloppy but he has done very well. His goal has been threatening to come for a while. He has had three good chances of late where I would have expected him to score. His goal today was terrific and he is bound to be pleased because of who it was against. It was important for us because it settled us down then we got the second one quite quickly and went on from there."

Two goals from Rob Hulse virtually settled things before Richard Naylor pulled one back and then Drissa Diallo put through his own goal.

Hulse was disappointed not to take home the match ball after failing to complete his hat-trick.

He said: "I'm good at getting on the end of things and the crosses we got in were bread and butter for me.

"It was nice to see two goals go in but I should have had the match ball. On another day the other chances I had would have flown in."

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