Pim: 'We played just like Barcelona'

“WE played just like Barcelona”- that was the view of rookie Town defender Pim Balkestein about the Blues' performance in Tuesday's away win at Barnsley.

Elvin King

“WE played just like Barcelona”- that was the view of rookie Town defender Pim Balkestein about the Blues' performance in Tuesday's away win at Barnsley.

“We had six or seven chances in the first half when we played some wonderful football and played the home team off the park.”

The 21-year-old Dutchman has been a revelation since replacing Ivan Campo at the heart of the Ipswich defence, and he is looking to help Town beat Plymouth Argyle in the Coca-Cola Championship at Portman Road this afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

A win could put the Blues into seventh place, and Balkestein can't wait to get on the pitch.

He went on: “We don't have to play as well as we did at Oakwell - we just need to ensure that we collect three points.

Most Read

“Our last three displays against Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Barnsley have given us extra confidence, and we now have no doubts that we can beat teams above us in the table.

“If we can improve our home form - starting today - and maintain our away run we will soon find ourselves where we want to be; in a play-off place.”

Balkestein is still buzzing after playing in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea last Saturday.

“Chelsea is a team I play on my Playstation - not in real life,” he explained. “It was a huge game for me, and thanks to our fans giving us a lift it was a match that we did very well in.

“The good display against such a talented side will hold us in good stead in the months ahead.

“Hopefully I can hold my place. I have had to be patient,

but I needed to add some kilos and get used to the English game.

“Fitness coach Simon Thadani and skills coach Steve Foley have spent a lot of time with me, and I am a better equipped player than I was when I joined Ipswich in the summer.”

Balkestein, who says that he prefers to play in the middle of the back line, but will play anywhere to get into the side, has praise for his defensive colleague Gareth McAuley.

“Gareth is a good guy and a great defender and he has given me such confidence.

“And with Richard Wright behind us we are looking to keep clean sheets and remain strong at the back.”

n Ipswich are not taking on Lino Goncalves and Harry Arter who have been on trial at the club from the Glenn Hoddle Soccer School in Spain and Charlton respectively.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter