Pablo is NOT the forgotten man

PABLO Counago has been conspicuous by his absence in Ipswich Town's last two games, but he is NOT the new forgotten man at Portman Road.

Carl Marston

Ipswich soccer, back page

By Carl Marston

PABLO Counago has been conspicuous by his absence in Ipswich Town's last two games, but he is NOT the new forgotten man at Portman Road.


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Fans favourite Counago is down the pecking order of strikers, having mustered just one goal this season.

But whereas midfielder Owen Garvan was stuck in the wilderness for three months, before his impressive return to the starting line-up 10 days ago, Counago will not have so long to wait for his return.

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Manager Roy Keane recognises Counago's attributes, not least because following his return from injury in mid-August, the 30-year-old had been included in 14 squads on the bounce until his omission from the 18 for the goalless home draw against Sheffield Wednesday.

“Pablo (Counago) is a good striker, but at the moment there are other strikers ahead of him,” insisted Keane.

“All my strikers have had a chance, and in the past others have been left out.”

Both Counago and Connor Wickham were left out of the squad for Sunday's heart-warming 2-1 win at Cardiff.

The arrival of Stern John, on loan from Crystal Palace, had nudged this duo further down the pecking order, while Wickham will at least be fresh for Town's FA Youth Cup third round tie at Tranmere Rovers tomorrow evening.

Town are now just one point adrift of safety, thanks to their first away win of the season, and they will be gunning for a repeat performance at Bristol City this Saturday.

Tamas Priskin was very ineffective at Cardiff, and was substituted early in the second half, so Keane looks sure to change his strike-force duo again for the Bristol trip.

Super sub Jon Stead, with three goals to his name in the last five matches, will be pushing for a start, alongside loanee John, but Counago and Wickham should also be back in contention.

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