Counago calls for calm

PABLO Counago has called on Town fans to follow Manchester United supporters' lead and stay calm as the players look to get their season into full swing.

Derek Davis

PABLO Counago has called on Town fans to follow Manchester United supporters' lead and stay calm as the players look to get their season into full swing.

The Blues are looking to go unbeaten for the fifth game in a row and move closer to the play-off pack when they take on second-bottom Barnsley at Portman Road tonight.

The Spanish striker is confident Ipswich can soon accumulate the points that will push them up from their current 16th place.

Counago said: “It is still the beginning of the season. We have plenty of games to go. You can understand the fans being disappointed with our current position but we can change all that in a couple of games.

“Look at Manchester United. Who would have thought they would have been 15th last week?

Most Read

“We all have to stay calm because panic gets you nowhere.

“Confidence grows when you are winning. We have a lot of pace and a lot of quality in the side and enough to win games. Of course it was disappointing not to win on Saturday but it was better to take a point than nothing.

“Our fans expect more from the beginning but we are a good squad, bigger and better than last year and it may take a bit longer but things will turn out good.

“We are stronger with more players adding more competition and while it won't matter so much right now, in the second half of the season when there are injuries and suspensions then we will need everyone and having a big squad will help us.”

While Counago is confident Town have the firepower to overcome Barnsley, he knows the Tykes will make it hard for them.

He said; “Barnsley will fight for a point. They will probably be thinking about giving nothing away and look to catch us on the break and score a goal then protect that.”

The former Celta Vigo and Real Mallorca star has personal knowledge of two of Barnsley's key players. Fellow Spaniard Diego Leon is there and Counago has played alongside Brazilian Anderson De Silva.

He said: “I know their quality, especially in the middle of the park, and so it won't be an easy game but it is one we can win.

“We have to think about our own style and to get on top. Stay calm and outplay them.”

Counago missed the goal-less draw at Sheffield Wednesday with an ankle injury but was fit enough to return for the home draw with Palace.

The Spaniard, who made his 150th Town appearance in Saturday's match, was determined that milestone should have been passed at Sheffield and argued with physio Matt Byard to be allowed to travel, despite an ankle injury.

Counago said: “I really wanted to play and tried to go to Sheffield but the next day when I saw my ankle again and it had swollen I knew the physio was absolutely right to stop me. Luckily after a couple of days it improved and the injury is fine now.

“Luckily it was not serious and I was able to play a short while on Saturday.”

Counago, who scored Town's consolation in the 4-1 loss last March, is hoping to start tonight and could be joined by Alan Quinn, who was rested against Palace.

Tommy Miller may miss out with a dead leg, while Pim Balkestein will have a scan today on a groin problem.

Moritz Volz still has a hamstring problem, while Ben Thatcher is out for a month or more with a torn thigh muscle and Tommy Smith has had surgery on an ankle break.


Ipswich Town: R Wright, Supple, D Wright, Bruce, Peters, McAuley, Naylor, Campo, Shumulikoski, Garvan, Norris, Haynes, Walters, Quinn, Counago, Stead and Lisbie.

Barnsley: Muller, Steele, Foster, Kozluk, Hassell, Moore, Souza, Mostto, Campell-Rycem De Silva, Colace, Leon, Devaney, Hume, Macken and Odejayi.