Pablo hopes

PABLO Counago continues to harbour hopes that he can be a Town hero before leaving Portman Road.The Spaniard last night ruled out any possibility of leaving Ipswich before tomorrow's transfer deadline and revealed he still dreams of firing the Blues to promotion.

PABLO Counago continues to harbour hopes that he can be a Town hero before leaving Portman Road.

The Spaniard last night ruled out any possibility of leaving Ipswich before tomorrow's transfer deadline and revealed he still dreams of firing the Blues to promotion.

The 25-year-old is under no illusion that his chance to play is unlikely, never mind adding to his 33 goals in 68 starts.

Counago told the EADT: "I only expect to be on the bench from now on, anything else would be bonus.


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"You never know in football, if there are many injuries I could still be involved and I would love to come off the bench and play and score.

"I would love Ipswich to get promoted and play a part in that happening in whatever way I can."

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Counago scored an excellent goal in the 1-1 reserves' draw with West Ham on Monday, with Joe Royle watching from the stands.

Despite getting just five brief substitute performances over the past five months, Counago bears no grudge and accepts his fate philosophically.

The Spanish Under-21 international striker said: "I don't really have a problem with the manager and I think he likes me.

"He played me for the first year and more after he came but then last summer he wanted to sell me.

"It is about money and that's football, you have to accept these things happen."

After turning down a move to Preston and a lowly Spanish club, Counago has been kicking his heels with Town but, even though the transfer deadline closes at 5pm tomorrow, he is reluctant to go anywhere on loan, even if someone came in for him.

He said: "There is no point in me going on loan now for the last month-and-a-half of the season.

"It takes time to settle in somewhere new and, by the time that happens, the season is over so it is not worth it.

"The fans here at Ipswich have been fantastic and, for the most part, I have enjoyed my time here but I doubt I will get a new contract at Ipswich and I imagine I will be back playing in Spain next season.

"That is probably the best thing for me, but you never know what will happen in football."

Blues boss Joe Royle told the EADT at the beginning of the month that he would not be signing any new players before transfer deadline and that he had full faith in the squad he has to win automatic promotion.

He also explained then that the finances for the season had been used up and, even with bumper gates for the remaining four home matches, there would not be funds available.

Nothing has changed and the season's deadline will pass without any Ipswich involvement.

With Town still in the FA Youth Cup, there is no chance that any of the young players will be allowed out on loan, which may disappoint one or two clubs that have been watching Owen Garvan's progress with interest.

The dates for the two-legged semi-final have now been confirmed with the young Blues entertaining Spurs at Portman Road on Friday, April 8, 7pm kick-off.

The return leg at White Hart Lane also kicks off at 7pm, on Wednesday, April 13.

The final will be staged over two legs on Monday, April 18 and Friday, April 22, both matches being televised live by Sky Sports. Ipswich, if they get through, would be away first.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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