Kuqi at his best and worst
SHEFKI Kuqi showed the best and worst of his finishing in a dynamic performance to help see off struggling Bradford City, writes Derek Davis.The Finland international weighed in with a wonderful volleyed finish to open the scoring.
SHEFKI Kuqi showed the best and worst of his finishing in a dynamic performance to help see off struggling Bradford City, writes Derek Davis.
The Finland international weighed in with a wonderful volleyed finish to open the scoring.
He played a part in Town's second goal and saw a headed effort cleared off the line.
On-loan Bradford keeper Nico Vaesen from Birmingham City made two good saves to deny him but also presented the Balkan War refugee with the simplest of chances, which Kuqi knocked into the side-netting with the goal gaping.
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Kuqi described the 28th-minute opener as one of his best-ever goals and added: "It was a great goal for me. Darren got a terrific flick on and I was able to get a good first touch and I saw the keeper off his line so I went for it and it was great for everyone when it went in."
But he also agreed his late miss was probably the worst of his career.
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He said: "I got the ball but just before I hit it I slipped and then I got cramp in my left calf, these things happen. Hopefully next week I will get a similar chance and put that one away."
The 27-year-old Kosovon also showed a sense of humour after being baffled by referee Joe Ross's decision to book him.
He said: " "I could not understand why I was booked. He said I had done things around the pitch but I said it was my job to win the ball.
"I was disappointed as I didn't feel it was a booking. I would have understood more if he had booked me for missing the easy chance."
Kuqi had told Saturday's EADT that he backed Pablo Counago to find his form soon but with the Spaniard dropped he was reunited with England Under-21 striker Darren Bent and the two clicked profitably.
He said: "I don't have a problem with partnering either Pablo or Darren. Pablo and I played well for a few games and that was felt to be the best partnership. Now I'm with Darren and as long as we work together we can be a good pair and it showed.
"It was a great finish by Darren, as a striker you need those for your confidence and that will help him."
After two successive home defeats, it was good to win again at Portman Road and Kuqi believes that will help kick Town on to a strong finish in the final third of the season.
He said: "Last week we lost and everyone was disappointed but this time we worked as a team and got the three points.
"We had a great week in training and everyone was buzzing. This team has great spirit and although we were disappointed last week we showed that we can come back.
"We can move forward again now and I still feel we can go up. We can get a good run going again and be right up there."
Kuqi's goal takes his tally to nine goals in 25 games for Ipswich and he also knocked in five for Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the season.