Kennedy is no George Weah!

MARK Kennedy will quit football, the day he believes that he can’t last 90 minutes.

MARK Kennedy will quit football, the day he believes that he can’t last 90 minutes.

Kennedy has only started eight games since his summer move from Cardiff City, due to a succession of niggling injuries.

But crucially, the 34-year-old left-back has started Ipswich Town’s last two games. He was man-of-the-match for his hour’s display in the 1-0 defeat at Preston, and then played the full 90 minutes in the snow blizzard during Town’s 3-0 victory over Leicester.

He will also benefit more than any other Town player from the two recent postponements – the Boxing Day game against Watford and today’s scheduled trip to Doncaster – as he continues his return to full fitness.

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“If I felt I couldn’t play 90 minutes of football, and I’ve told the manager this, then I’d pack in football,” revealed Kennedy.

“I haven’t got it in me to just go out and play 60 minutes, it’s not just me.

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“If I can’t offer the full 100%, then I wouldn’t want to be in football any more. I wouldn’t want to be a bit-part player.

“As a defender I am not an impact player, so I’m not going to come on and change a game, unlike if I was a centre forward.

“So if I can’t play 90 minutes, then I’m no good to anyone at the club.

“I’m not like George Weah, whom I used to play with at Manchester City. He was someone who could make an impact.

“That’s exactly what he was. George didn’t have the legs any more to play a full game, but he was out of this world when he came on for just half-an-hour,” added Kennedy.

Experienced defender Kennedy, who played regularly for Cardiff during their promotion pushes of the last two years, reckons that a 20-goal striker is a key ingredient to any promotion candidate.

And the good news for Town supporters, and manager Roy Keane, is that Kennedy is adamant that Jason Scotland can fulfil that 20-goal-a-season role.

“You look at any team which gets promoted, and they usually have someone who gets 20-plus goals a season,” explained Kennedy.

“That was the case with Wolves, who had (Sylvan) Ebanks-Blake.

“Of course that’s not the only factor. I remember a few years earlier, Wimbledon had David Connolly and (Neil) Shipperly up front. They got about 40 goals between them, but Wimbledon still ended up in mid-table.

“So it’s not just having goal scorers, although that can go a long way. That is usually the difference between the teams that go up and those that don’t.

“In Jason (Scotland) we have definitely got a goal scorer. He’s come in and done really well.

”He’s capable of scoring a lot of goals, and Tamas (Priskin) has got goals in him. He’s horrible to play against in training.

“You also expect others to chip in. As a team we have to share the goals, rather than just rely on Jason, because it’s a tough league and he’s not going to be able to get a couple of goals every game.

“But in Jason we definitely have a genuine goal threat,” added Kennedy.

Scotland boosted his tally to eight goals for the season with his brace in the 3-0 win over Leicester City on December 18, which was Town’s last outing.

Kennedy has been frustrated by his own injury woes. He confirmed: “One of my biggest disappointments of this year has me not being able to offer a bit more to the manager and the rest of the lads.

“The manager has brought me here to play and I want to be able to repay him and be able to show to the supporters that I am here to benefit Ipswich Town.”

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