Stead aims to strike gold at Southampton

JON Stead wants to follow up his brilliant start with Ipswich at a ground where he has struck gold before.

Derek Davis

JON Stead wants to follow up his brilliant start with Ipswich at a ground where he has struck gold before.

The on-loan striker from Sheffield United netted on his Blues debut as Town beat Reading 2-0 and is looking to keep his starting sport for Wednesday's game at Southampton.

Stead scored against the Saints for Sheffield United on the final game of last season when he netted two minutes after coming off the bench in the 3-2 defeat at St Mary's and wants to carry on his, and Town's, new-found good form.

He said: “I would be disappointed, just as I would be if I didn't start any game. It is a big game for us Wednesday as the start of season was disappointing.

“We have set the standard now for what we can do and what we want to progress from. It will be right to go on from there and better than we have done before.

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“It is no good getting just the one we now need to see how many more come along.”

Ironically, Stead's last goal before Saturday, was for the Blades' reserves against Sheffield Wednesday who Town play this weekend.

Manager Jim Magilton got all romantic after seeing his newest recruit do so well.

Magilton said: “I have great faith in the boy. Maybe he just needs to be loved a little more. If he carries on playing like that then he will get my undying love. It was not just his goal. Jon showed great movement and he should be very pleased with his performance.”

Stead's opener against the Royals was not just any old run of the mill goal and he could not hide his delight after being in the wilderness at Bramall Lane.

He said: “I was pleased because I had the centre half on my left so I decide to let the shot off and I could not have hit it any sweeter.

“There were bodies in the way so when it hit the post I could not see if it was going across the goal-line or coming back so when I saw the net ripple it was a fantastic feeling. All round it was a great day for me.”

After saying that there was more to him than just being a big target man, Stead was true to his word with a man of the match all-round display.

He also showed an instant understanding with Pablo Counago.

Stead said: “With Pablo I can afford to stretch the back line a bit because he does that role for the side so well.

“When the ball comes to him it tends to stick which allows me to run the channels and get in behind and cause problems that way.

“It is a good blend and we linked up well. Pablo is great to work with. I'm sure there may be other games when it doesn't come off so well, but for a first game we have to be pleased.”

He almost set up his partner who hit the crossbar with a header and a volley.

Stead added: “It is my job to feed him as much as it is for him to feed me so there are goals there for both of us.”