Kuqi aims for Blues play-off take off

SHEFKI Kuqi has vowed to give the Blues fans another one of his famous swallow dives to make up for a disappointing loan spell.The popular striker admits he has not lived up to expectations after a hamstring injury in his first game back and is desperate to make amends by scoring against Hull City tomorrow and firing the Blues into the top six.

Derek Davis

SHEFKI Kuqi has vowed to give the Blues fans another one of his famous swallow dives to make up for a disappointing loan spell.

The popular striker admits he has not lived up to expectations after a hamstring injury in his first game back and is desperate to make amends by scoring against Hull City tomorrow and firing the Blues into the top six.

Kuqi said: “I can't put into words what it would mean for me to help Ipswich win against Hull and hope the other results go our way.

“To do that would be great because I really feel I have let everyone down. The players, the fans, the manager, the sponsors, everyone - all because of my injury.

“Everyone knows what happened last time I was here, when I only had that one injury, but I have spent more time in the physio room in these two months than I did in those two years.

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“It has been a really frustrating time, probably the worst in my career, and I really want to make up for that.

“Hopefully I can get a goal or two on Sunday and then all this will be forgotten.

“Then I can promise you I will do my dive again for the Ipswich fans.”

Peter Taylor paid Blackburn £3m for Kuqi but he never settled at Selhurst Park and was farmed out on loan to Fulham.

His return didn't go well and after making a gesture to palace fans meant the end and Neil Warnock said he would not play for tem again and allowed him to join Town but Kuqi bears no ill-will towards the London side.

He said: “I'm not thinking about Palace I'm thinking about Ipswich. We have missed out twice before in the play-offs and I want to make it third time lucky.

“When I came here I wasn't thinking about stopping Palace making the play-offs I was thinking of getting Ipswich promoted.

“Nothing has changed and all we can do is get the three points and hope other results go our way.”

Kuqi will battle with Alan Lee, Pablo Couango and Jon Walters, for a starting place in the must-win match.

He said: “Four weeks ago when the team were short of strikers they would have loved to have been in the situation now where they are still in with a chance of a play-off place.

“Now the manager has plenty of strikers to choose from and that is good. I'm raring to play and fully fit. It has been good to train all week and not worry about the leg.”

Kuqi, who scored 32 goals in 88 games during his first spell with Ipswich, will be available as a free agent in the summer and has made no secret of his desire to sign again permanently.

He said: “I love this place and for me if you can't enjoy your football here you won't enjoy it anywhere.

“I have been to a couple of clubs and it would be very difficult to find a better club to play than Ipswich.

“I only left last time to play Premier League football and that would be hard for anyone to turn down. As a footballer that sort of chance doesn't happen very often.”