Kuqi: Town fans are best in the world

'I have come home to the best fans in the world.'So said Shefki Kuqi last night after completing his loan move from Crystal Palace.The Flying Finn could barely believe he was back at Portman Road and vowed to do his bit to get the Blues back into the Premiership once more.

Derek Davis

'I have come home to the best fans in the world.'

So said Shefki Kuqi last night after completing his loan move from Crystal Palace.

The Flying Finn could barely believe he was back at Portman Road and vowed to do his bit to get the Blues back into the Premiership once more.

He did not need to be asked twice by Ipswich Town boss Jim Magilton before steaming up the A12 to start his second stint with the Blues.

Kuqi said: “I got the call on Thursday night and I was straight up here. When I spoke to the manager there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to come back. This is my club, it feels like home when I'm here.

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“No one can truly realise just how much Ipswich Town means to me. I really love this place. The fans here are the best in the world. I have always said that wherever I have gone.

“They give me an energy like no other. As soon as I cross that white line in front f them. I feel like I have new legs.”

Kuqi enjoyed the best ever season of his career in 2003-04 when he scored 20 goals in a 39 goal partnership with Darren Bent.

Sentiment apart though Kuqi has been left in no doubt about what is required of him.

He said: “Hopefully I can get in the team, get goals and get into us into the Premiership.

“I still have plenty of goals in me and if I didn't feel confident that I can do that then I would not have come back.”

Part of the arrangement with Crystal Palace is that Kuqi doesn't play them should both team meet in the play-offs, something Kuqi is confident town will do.

He said: “We have nine games to go with everything to play for and we all know anything can happen.”

And Kuqi has vowed to resurrect the famous swallow dive if he scores.

He said: “I have not done it for a couple of seasons but if I score for Ipswich I could well bring it back just for the Ipswich fans.”

Magilton will be as delighted as anyone to see the famous dive but has made it clear to Kuqi he needs to start scoring and fast.

Kuqi fell out at Palace with supporters and manager Neil Warnock who told him he had no future at Selhurst Park after making obscene gestures to the home fans.

Magilton said: “He is under no illusion as to why he is here and we've got him from now until the end of the season.

“Our squad has been a little bit light up front and Shefki's situation at Palace has hastened our move and he comes into our squad.

“He enjoyed probably his best season here and it just adds a little bit more weight to the squad.”

After missing out on both David Nugent and David Healy, Magilton moved swiftly when it was confirmed Jon Walters would miss most of the rest of the season due to a cartilage tear.

Magilton admitted the former Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn striker who also had a loan spell at Fulham this season, was not top of his list but with most Premier League clubs keen to keep hold of their existing squads then it came down to availability.

He said: “We cannot hide behind the fact that we have been trying to get other players in.

“This has totally come out of the blue for him but he was always on a list of possible candidates.

“We set our sights on bringing a Nugent into the club simply because we could afford to do it. Obviously it comes down to individuals and it comes down to respective clubs.

“Premier League clubs are reluctant to let them go and Premier League players are reluctant to step down. We had an opportunity to do something with Kuqi and we are bringing in a proven player.”