Wickham looking to reach Premier League with Ipswich
CONNOR Wickham today confirmed his loyalty to Ipswich Town and revealed his desire to stay at Portman Road for the foreseeable future.
The 17-year-old striker is one of the hottest properties in English football and set to be in the Town team for their Championship match at Cardiff City tomorrow (kick-off 5.20pm).
He has scouts from top Premier League clubs watching his every move, but he says that this does not faze him and his only concern is to play regularly and score goals for Ipswich Town.
Town fans naturally want to see the ultra talented lad who already has an England Under-21 cap stay with the club and they will be heartened by the player confirming that he has no wish to move on.
Wickham agreed that he wants to play in the top flight, and gave evidence that his mind has not wandered beyond pulling on a Town shirt when he added:
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“Yes, the play-offs are not out of our reach this season and I will be keep pushing to achieve promotion for Ipswich.
“Reaching the Premier League with Ipswich would be great and I cannot see why this should not happen.
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“I recently signed an extended contract that keeps me here for a few years yet and there is no reason why I should go anywhere. I see myself playing here and this is what I want to do.
“I want my football to do the talking and for the off field speculation to take care of itself – that side of the game does not faze me as it is nothing to do with me.
“I saw that former Ipswich player James Scowcroft recommended I should make a 100 Ipswich starts before thinking about moving.
“And hopefully the contract I have will take me to that.
“I just want to be playing as much as I can, and to play for 90 minutes every game.
“It is nice to be recognised by top clubs in the world, but I am a player with Ipswich Town who wants to be playing first team football and scoring goals.
“And this is what I am doing at the moment.”
Wickham is eligible to sign a longer contract than his current one that goes to the summer of 2013 on his 18th birthday on March 31, but he feels that the current length of his contract shows his faith in his current club.
Wickham, who deals with the media with the same maturity that he shows on the field, has blossomed since the arrival of Paul Jewell as manager having failed to score a goal in an injury-hit first half of this season.
“The manager having shown confidence in me has given me extra confidence,” added Wickham.
“I am playing every game and along with his staff is talking to me every day about my game.
“We are more relaxed about what we are doing, and if someone makes a mistake in training it is a case of doing all you can to rectify it and not repeat it.
“There is a buzz around the place and fans can see by the extra confidence we are showing on the pitch that we are looking to move up the table.”
Wickham is one of the nominations to be named Championship player of the month for February, and he said: “That would be a great honour, but if not I will keep performing to my best.
“Having won the young player award last April it would be a double honour.”