I'm happy, insists Pablo

SPANISH striker Pablo Counago has quelled rumours that he is homesick and wants to return to Spain, writes Derek Davis.Counago is likely to be on the bench for today's Division One clash at Burnley as Ipswich Town stick with Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi up front.

SPANISH striker Pablo Counago has quelled rumours that he is homesick and wants to return to Spain, writes Derek Davis.

Counago is likely to be on the bench for today's Division One clash at Burnley as Ipswich Town stick with Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi up front.

But the Blues' leading scorer with 12 goals this season is refusing to get too downhearted after being dropped following a dip in form and insists he has no problem with manager Joe Royle.

Counago signed from Celta Vigo in the summer of 2001 and, after struggling to get accustomed to the language and culture at first, is well settled in Ipswich now, and speaks very good English.


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He denied that homesickness was the cause of a dip in form which saw him dropped for two of the past three Town games.

He said: "It is not true. I have been in England a long time now. I know all about the weather, the people, everything and am happy living here, so that is not a problem at all."

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Nor have there been any stormy meetings with the manager and he will not be seeking any either.

Counago added: "I don't need to go and see the manager or anything like that. The Gaffer makes the decisions. Sometimes they work for me and I play and other times, like now, it goes against me, but that is football."

Counago knows that with the way Kuqi and Bent are playing, it will be hard to regain his starting place, but that has not shaken his self-belief.

He said: "I have not played for a couple of games and it is normal that when the other strikers are doing so well that it is hard to get back in. All I can do is do the best I can in training and keep working to get my place back.

"I have the same possibilities as Shefki, Darren or anyone else really. I have been playing here for a long time so I don't need to worry about people knowing what I'm capable of."

Counago has vowed to battle back into the starting line-up by impressing on the training pitch.

He said: "When you don't play you are bound to get disappointed but it is all part of football. Sometimes there is a need for change but the important thing for me is to remain positive and concentrate only on the next game."

Counago played up front with Northern Ireland striker Sam Morrow in the reserves' 1-0 defeat against West Ham in midweek and felt they were unfortunate not to win, especially after some dubious decisions by officials went against the Blues.

He said: "I didn't mind playing in the reserves. I had not played Saturday so it was important to get a full game to keep up the match fitness levels."

Counago could get his chance to force his way back into the starting line-up next week when Kuqi is suspended for the home game against Preston.

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