Pablo loves to hear crowd sing his name
THERE is nothing Town's Spanish striker loves to hear more than the 'Ole, Ole, Ole Ole, Pablo, Pablo' chant raining down from the Portman Road stands.For Pablo Counago it means he is playing and he believes the more he is on the pitch the more he will score.
THERE is nothing Town's Spanish striker loves to hear more than the 'Ole, Ole, Ole Ole, Pablo, Pablo' chant raining down from the Portman Road stands.
For Pablo Counago it means he is playing and he believes the more he is on the pitch the more he will score.
Despite banging in 31 goals in 64 starts, with all his goals coming in the past two seasons, the former Celta Vigo striker has found himself behind Darren Bent and Dean Bowditch in the pecking order and struggling to get in ahead of Shefki Kuqi.
The Spaniard is convinced he is capable of getting even more goals, which in turn will give him his confidence back and make the crowd happier.
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He said: “The first thing to be doing is to be in the side. If you are not playing then it is difficult to score goals.
“In pre-season I was playing a little and still managed to score four goals. The more minutes I'm playing the more chance I have of scoring.
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“I feel when I have been on then I have done well.”
The 25-year-old striker has tried not to allow all the talk about Ipswich trying to get rid of him - he is the highest wage earner - affect him and is in no hurry to leave before his contract expires next summer and may stay even longer.
He said: “I'm not worried about someone coming in for me before the end of August. I just want to play for Ipswich and my aim is to have a good year and for us to get back into the Premiership then we can talk about a new deal.
“If the club want me to go on a free that is their problem. I just carry on training hard and playing.
“If someone comes in and it is a club which suits me then perhaps I will go but at the moment I'm happy here and want to play for Ipswich.
“We are just three games into the season and things could change very quickly.
“I love to hear the supporters sing 'Ole Pablo' it shows they want me here and I want to play well and be on the pitch and score goals for them.”
The club have received no offers, or even any real signs of interest for the former Spanish Under-21 star who was spotted by George Burley when he scored twice against England Under-21s in Birmingham, in 2001.
Counago is determined to break into the Ipswich starting position again, mainly so he can play with a smile on his face once more.
He said: “You want to do well for the team, for the fans and for the manager but now I need to be doing it for myself so that I'm in the side. I need to be playing and doing my best so that I can enjoy my football again.
“If you are not playing then you get angry with yourself and frustrated. That is normal for all the players.
“All I can do is try my best and hope to be in the side on a Saturday.”
That would mean starting against Cardiff City in a game Counago believes Town need to win to restore belief, especially at Portman Road.
He said: “We need to win at home and to pick up three points against Cardiff. It is important to be strong at home and then we can go away with confidence.”
With all the strikers fit manager Joe Royle will probably stick with the speedsters Bent and Bowditch, although Counago has a terrific strike ratio with 11 of his 12 goals last season coming at Portman Road.
Skipper Jim Magilton is likely to return to the midfield after an injury lay-off due to a thigh tear, while Jason De Vos may be included after a scan revealed he has not fractured his fibula.
Drissa Diallo will play in central defence if the Canadian is absent, with Fabian Wilnis restored to his favoured right back position.
Matt Richards is expected to start, even though he limped out of training on Thursday with a sore foot.