Town fans hope ex-Blues star will not be a flop tonight
IPSWICH TOWN: Blues fans used to love to see the Shefki Kuqi bone shuddering belly flop. But they hope the 33-year-old striker will not go into airborne action to celebrate a goal tonight.
And deep down, the Finland international probably feels the same.
The energetic front man loved his two seasons playing for the Blues scoring the goals with Darren Bent’s help that took Town to the Championship play-offs in 2003/04 and 2004/05.
He came back on loan for two months at the back end of the 2007/08 campaign and expressed a wish to stay longer.
“I just love playing for Ipswich,” he said at the time, and this love affair still exists.
His professionalism will ensure he gives his usual 100% for Derby in their Championship fixture at Portman Road tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) while he enjoys a three month loan period from his parent club Swansea City.
Kuqi, who was restricted to Carling Cup games at Swansea this season, had a hand in Derby’s second goal against Portsmouth at the weekend and said: “I feel good and just want to play games.
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“It’s great to be involved and I have this opportunity. It feels right.”
Miles Addison will be in Derby’s squad after his first taste of action in 10 months.
Addison appeared as a late substitute in the Rams’ 2-0 home victory over Pompey, but it remains too early in the 21-year-old defender’s rehabilitation from a foot injury for him to start.
This is despite Dean Leacock serving a one-match suspension, while Russell Anderson and Jake Buxton are injured.
Addison underwent surgery on a foot in March and was initially told he could miss the entire season.
Clough will not get carried away after his side joined Ipswich and climbed into the top six for the first time in his 22 months as Rams manager.
“We weren’t talking about relegation when we were third from bottom six weeks ago so we are certainly not going to talk about promotion when we are fourth from top,” he said.
“We might be back in the bottom half of the table if we don’t get something on the road this week at Ipswich and Leicester. That tells you how tight the league is.”.