Kuqi keen to make amends

TOWN striker Shefki Kuqi intends to turn the tables today and make up for his poor marking last week by claiming: “Next game I will score, not the man who I mark.

TOWN striker Shefki Kuqi intends to turn the tables today and make up for his poor marking last week by claiming: “Next game I will score, not the man who I mark.”

Speaking to the EADT on letting Norwich skipper Malky Mackay escape him twice last week, Kuqi said: “I was disappointed and angry with myself last week, writes Ashley Leszczuk.

“The man I had to mark went on to score two of the goals. But if we concentrate hard I think we can beat anybody.”

With Millwall one place in front of Town and with a game in hand, it is important for the big striker to forget last week's derby game and concentrate on the task at hand.

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“It is very tight at the moment. Normally at the end of January you know who is going up and who is going to go down. I think we have a really good chance and a definite chance for more goals.”

Kuqi praises strike partner Darren Bent, saying how he feels the youngster is proving himself well: “Darren is a young player and the more he plays the better he will become.

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“He is one of the quickest players, sometimes too quick, but is doing really well for himself. He is getting better and better all the time, but needs to learn to vary his pace.”

When asked who he prefers to partner, Counago or Bent, Kuqi found it hard to pick one above the other: “Pablo likes to have the ball in his feet and Darren likes to run. I am playing well with both Darren and Pablo. It is good to have competition in the team.”

Training hard and holding a regular place is bringing its rewards for Kuqi, who has benefitted from a long run in the team. “When playing all the time you get a great feeling inside.”

Looking back at last week's derby match and ahead against Millwall, Kuqi said: “Last week we should have finished the game in the first half, but that game has gone and you can't live in the past. Millwall are in really good form but we need to play our own game,” he said.

Last time these two met at the Den back in December, Town were on a streak of one loss in 13 games. Now though, they are coming into the game disappointed at last week's effort and having won only two of their last six games.

Kuqi said: “We were disappointed last week. It was a very important game for us, and it is a shame to lose Pablo. We need everyone fit now.”

Having been substituted in the last game at the Den after a weak performance, Kuqi seems to be in a more positive mood. “We have got good players and a good strength to the squad. Every game we go out thinking we are going to get goals, but it is more important to get the three points.”

With the importance of this game ringing in his ears from boss Joe Royle, Town fans will hope that the Finn can produce the kind of performance that will boost the team and steer them towards play-off contention.

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