No hard feelings, but Barnsley striker Jason Scotland is ready to celebrate at Portman Road
- Credit: Ashley Pickering
Ipswich v Barnsley: He bears no hard feelings towards his former club, but Barnsley striker Jason Scotland admits he probably will celebrate if he scores against Ipswich Town on Friday night.
The 34-year-old came to a financial agreement to tear up his Blues contract six months early back in January, manager Mick McCarthy explaining that he wanted to go down a younger route in terms of recruitment.
Scotland promptly signed for the Tykes and scored six crucial goals as the Yorkshire side once again avoided Championship relegation by the skin of their teeth.
Now the front man is returning to Portman Road for the first time and says all friendships will go out the window as soon as the action gets under way.
“I left Ipswich with no hard feelings whatsoever,” said the ever-smiling Trinidadian, who scored 20 goals in his two-and-half years with the Blues.
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“Me and the gaffer talked and agreed it was the right time for me to move on. I thank everyone at the club for the way it was dealt with.
“It will be good to see some old friends on Friday. I still speak to a lot of the lads and ring them up after games to see how things are going down there.
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“I’ve got nothing but respect for Ipswich Town Football Club and want them to do well, just not on Friday because we really need a result.
“I haven’t really thought about what I’d do if I scored to be honest. I’m not going to lie, I probably would celebrate because this is a really important game for us and sometimes emotion takes over in the heat of the moment.”
Ever since their promotion to the second tier in 2006, Barnsley have finished in the lower reaches of the table. A return of just nine points from their opening 13 games already puts them second-bottom, but Scotland – who has scored twice this season and largely been limited to the role of an impact substitute – says the Tykes will once again be up for the fight.
“It’s obviously not been a great start to the season, but no-one should write us off yet,” he said. “There is still a long way to go and we’ll keep on fighting every week.
“We’ve just got four points on the board (3-2 home win over Middlesbrough and 1-1 home draw with Sheffield Wednesday) and hopefully that can kick-start a turnaround in fortunes.
“If the manager calls upon me I always back myself to score goals. I feel I’ve done well whenever I’ve started and I’m always ready to give something from off the bench too.”
He added: “I hope I get a good reception. Things didn’t go as well as I’d have liked down there, but I’d like to think the Ipswich supporters saw that I always tried my best whenever I played.”