Stead: Warnock's a wonder

IPSWICH Town striker Jon Stead goes into this afternoon's game praising opposing Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town striker Jon Stead goes into this afternoon's game praising opposing Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock.

“He did wonders for me,” says Stead, who will be looking to grab his first away Blues goal in the Coca-Cola Championship fixture at Selhurst Park

The 25-year-old has netted seven times at Portman Road since his transfer from Sheffield United in August.

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And he has the controversial Warnock to thank for putting his career back on track.

“Neil took me from Sunderland to play in the Premier League with Sheffield United,” said Stead.

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“I thoroughly enjoyed playing under him.

“He is a colourful character and you either love him or hate him.

“There is no doubt that Neil did wonders for me, and he is now doing a fantastic job with Palace.

“It took a while to get the players he wanted but his squad are all responding to him now.

“His teams are always well organised and at the moment they are cruising and enjoying a great spell.

“We know it will be tough, but we will be going out to end that today.”

Stead is under no illusions that Ipswich must start picking up victories if they are to have any say in the Championship play-off race.

And he sees the way Palace have moved forward as an inspiration to the Blues.

“We are unbeaten in our last three games, which is a start,” added Stead. “We are hanging on in there.

“If you compare the squads with respect to Palace you would expect us to come out on top. If they can make a rapid move up the table so can we.

“We should have beaten them at home when I scored in a rather scrappy 1-1 draw, but Neil has improved them since then with confidence high in their camp.

“But if we don't start putting a run together very soon it will be too late.”

Stead effectively replaced fans' favourite Alan Lee in the Town squad and the two are set to be on the pitch together today.

“Palace will have an insight into our play from Alan and perhaps Shefki Kuqi,” said Stead. “And we have been looking at how they play this week, although concentrating on our own game.

“Selhurst Park is a big pitch and we must make full use of it and make ourselves as big as possible.”

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