'It's been difficult... I was just so happy' - Celina delighted to end long goal drought in style

Bersant Celina celebrates his late winner

Bersant Celina celebrates his late winner - Credit: Ray Lawrence

Bersant Celina was delighted to break a personal goal drought and fire Ipswich to a special win on a dramatic afternoon at Portman Road. 

The attacker thumped home a stoppage-time winner to help his side beat Fleetwood 2-1, sending a 20,000-strong crowd, including Town owner Brett Johnson, happy. 

It was Celina’s first goal of his second spell at Portman Road and his first in more than two years, a run of 85 games dating back to his time with Swansea, with the strike clearly meaning a lot to the 25-year-old Dijon loanee. 

"It was great to win and it was great to score for the team because we really needed three points today,” he said. 

Bersant Celina removes his shirt as he celebrates his late strike

Bersant Celina removes his shirt as he celebrates his late strike - Credit: Ray Lawrence

“It was a great assist so all credit to JD (Janoi Donacien) for that. He got eye contact and he saw me, then it was perfect. 

“It meant a lot to me to score because it’s been difficult, I’ve obviously not played in the last few games and it was important for me. The most important thing is for the team and for the fans. You can see how the fans treat me here and I feel the love. Hopefully that can stay strong.  

“I’ve not scored a goal in a very long time so I was just happy. It’s really important to me to get that goal and hopefully I can kick on from there.” 

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When it was put to Celina he is a man for big moments, having made a habit of scoring dramatic goals during his first spell with the club, he said: “I am. Hopefully we can keep that going. It’s great to have the owner here and it shows that they care, which is great for us.” 

Celina’s history with Ipswich means much is expected of the Kosovo international, with his second spell with the Blues taking a little while to truly get going as he dropped to the bench for the last three games. 

The Town players celebrate the second goal

The Town players celebrate the second goal - Credit: Ray Lawrence

“It’s been very frustrating but we have good players and you have to prove you deserve to play, so it’s not easy,” he said. 

“I feel like I should be playing and hopefully there’s more in the coming days. You have to train well, which I have been doing, so that’s why the gaffer keeps putting me on. But it’s good to give something back. 

“I’m getting there. When I first came I wasn’t completely fit but I feel like I’m getting there.” 

With Conor Chaplin seemingly locking up the No.10 position in recent weeks, Celina is playing his football from the left flank. 

“I don’t mind which position I play because we have the freedom to come inside if I play on the left,” he said. “The manager tells me to come inside. 

Bersant Celina starts to celebrate the late winner

Bersant Celina starts to celebrate the late winner - Credit: Ray Lawrence

“Everything suits me but my favourite is the one behind the striker but Conor’s been doing great and scored a great goal today. I’m really happy for him because he’s a really good player. 

“(Sone) Aluko has quality and is a really good player. He’s keeping people out of the team and we have some really good players. You see that in training and we challenge each other. We’re getting better and better. 

“The football here suits me.” 

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