Anelka pledges more Town pain

NICOLAS Anelka has happy memories of playing against Ipswich Town - so the Blues had better beware.

Elvin King

NICOLAS Anelka has happy memories of playing against Ipswich Town - so the Blues had better beware.

“I want to shoot you down again,” is the message to the Tractor Boys today from the 14-goal Premier League's leading scorer.

All roads lead to Stamford Bridge tomorrow for Town fans with 6,000 travelling to support Jim Magilton's Coca-Cola Championship team in their FA Cup fourth round glamour tie against Premier League Chelsea (kick-off 3pm).

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France international Anelka will be one of the many world stars in action, and he still has a keen recollection of his last match against Ipswich.

It was at the end of the 2001/02 season, and he came on for the last six minutes to score the final goal in a 5-0 Liverpool victory.

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The defeat relegated George Burley's Ipswich from the top flight, and Anelka said: “I remember almost everything about the afternoon because it was my last game for Liverpool.

“And for me it was a very good end.

“We finished second in the league and it was a very good year for Liverpool, winning that last game by such a big score.

“Even the weather was good that day.

“I didn't speak to any of the Ipswich players. It was sad for them to go down, but they had to win, so playing at Anfield perhaps they did not expect too much.”

The smooth running Anelka could be partnered up front tomorrow by Didier Drogba, who is expected to return after being left out of the Chelsea squad for the last two games.

After Chelsea tasted defeats by Barnsley and Burnley in cup competitions over the last 12 months and were held to a draw by League One Southend at home in the previous round, Anelka is aware that tomorrow's game will not be easy.

He said: “You never know what will happen in football. It is always difficult to play against a smaller team, they will always give more than 100 percent playing against Chelsea, they give everything.

“So it is harder because they are very motivated.

“But, we know we have a big team with big players, and even though it is difficult we know what we have to do to win games like this, and we all give everything on the pitch.”

Anelka is aware that Town will have 6,000 fans supporting them tomorrow, but he is not sure whether this will make for a better atmosphere.

“It depends more on what happens in the game,” he said. “If we score first and take control then their fans may be quieter and our fans will be louder.

“All over the world when sides play a big team you have to support your players on the big day, knowing it will be difficult for them to come to a big stadium and win. They need big support.”

Anelka was looking forward to seeing his former Real Madrid and Bolton team mate Ivan Campo, who is currently out injured with a calf tear.

“I have some good memories of time with Ivan,” Anelka recalled.

“He is my friend, but I haven't contacted him for a while, and forgot he was at Ipswich.

“It would have been good to see him again. He is a nice guy, a little bit crazy but of course everybody likes him.

“It would have been difficult if he had played as he is still a good player.

“I know at Bolton the fans loved him, I am sure he is popular at Ipswich too.

“He is a special player, he gives you everything for the club.”

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