Celina in a ‘happy place’ after earning the trust of McCarthy
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Bersant Celina is in a ‘happy place’ at Ipswich Town after earning the trust of manager Mick McCarthy and taking his scoring run to three in three games, against Preston.
Celina scored the third in the BLues’ comfortable 3-0 victory on Saturday, with the strike taking his personal tally to six in a season in which he admits he has felt frustrated by a lack of game time.
The Manchester City loanee sparked questions over his Ipswich future with a cryptic tweet on the eve of Town’s victory at Burton, with many taking it to mean he wanted to cut his stay short, but the wide-man insisted the social media post was not related to any unhappiness over a lack of minutes and revealed just how much he is enjoying his spell with the club.
“I really love it here,” Celina said, when asked about his temporary spell.
“The tweet was nothing about that, but of course I have been frustrated because I always want to play football. That’s what I want to do – play, play, play all the time.
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“I spoke to the manager and I understand his concerns and some of the reasons why I had not been playing but I feel he is trusting me more now. I really appreciate that.
“We are all happy. I’m happy. I have two games coming up now with the national team and then the busy Christmas period.”
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Asked if he will still be with the Blues come January, Celina replied: “I will be here as long as I can. I’m happy.”
Much of Celina’s happiness in Suffolk comes from working alongside a group of players he feels comfortable with.
“The group of guys here are the best lads I have ever played with, they are amazing, all good friends and they play for the team and that can be unusual in football,” he said.
“I am in a happy place right now.”
The Kosovo international has become a fan’s favourite in recent weeks, with the travelling support at Burton calling for his introduction long before his stunning winner, which is something the 21-year-old appreciates deeply.
“I really appreciate they can see I am giving everything,” he said.
“I am happy they are supporting me for my performances and are happy with me. So thank you to them.”
He also revealed he is in regular contact with parent club Manchester City, with representatives watching him on a regular basis.
“I had a guy come to see me on Friday and he was watching the game,” Celina said.
“They are always watching me and it’s always nice to do well when they are watching.”
When Celina returns from international duty with Kosovo his focus will return to the Blues’ promotion challenge, with the youngster certain his side are good enough to be in the top six come the end of the campaign.
He said: “There is not a lot between fourth, six and seventh and if we keep winning then we can be in the top six. We are good enough.
“We have a lot of goals with Didzy (David McGoldrick), me, Wags (Martyn Waghorn) and Joe (Garner). It’s a good thing that we are not relying on one player.”