Klug hoping Scowcroft is off target

BRYAN Klug is hoping former Blues star James Scowcroft's goals have dried up for the season after he hit an opening-day hat-trick against Southampton.The Ipswich Town first team coach contacted the 31-year-old from Bury St Edmunds with a cheeky message, knowing he would be returning to Portman Road this week to play for Crystal Palace in Sunday's live television match.

By Derek Davis

BRYAN Klug is hoping former Blues star James Scowcroft's goals have dried up for the season after he hit an opening-day hat-trick against Southampton.

The Ipswich Town first team coach contacted the 31-year-old from Bury St Edmunds with a cheeky message, knowing he would be returning to Portman Road this week to play for Crystal Palace in Sunday's live television match.

Klug said: “I did text James to say I hoped he had his goalscoring over for the season with us coming up.


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“It was a great hat-trick and I'm sure George (Burley) didn't enjoy it. Scowie is a good player and when he is in scoring form he is a handful.”

Scowcroft's only other career hat-trick came for the Blues in a 3-0 win at Crewe in November 1998 and his highest-ever season tally is 15, also for Town, in the 1999-2000 season.

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Scowcroft hit just five goals last season but is refusing to get carried away about any goal-scoring targets for this season, or where Palace will be in May.

Scowcroft said: “It's always nice to get off the mark and to get three on the first day is fantasy stuff.

“I've got the match ball - it was the first thing I did after the game. I enjoyed Saturday night because you have to savour your high moments in football.

“I never set targets. I'm experienced enough to know that you can have a fantastic day and then next week is totally different.

“The only thing you can do is go into the next game, give it everything you've got and what will be, will be.

“We're not silly - our season will be defined through the winter months when the league starts to take shape. The games come thick and fast and we might pick up a couple of injuries like we did last year.

“The table doesn't really mean a lot, but if we can hang in there and be there or thereabouts, it could be that we are up there when it matters.”

Klug is hoping Town can gain revenge on Peter Taylor's Eagles after being doubled by them last season.

He said: “Both teams have made similar stats. Palace are a team we didn't get a point from last season, and we want to put that right. They are very similar to us in many ways and probably the most consistent thing about them has been their inconsistency.

“They are a good team full of attacking and Peter Taylor always gets them playing his way.”

Taylor has admitted he is ready to sell Shefki Kuqi, with Leicester City and Watford both understood to be keen.

Kuqi is known to favour a return to Ipswich, but manager Jim Magilton has no plans to make a move for the former player of the year.

Palace suffered a blow when they lost key midfielder Ben Watson to an ankle ligament injury and he will be out for six weeks.

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