Pablo's hero's return

PABLO Counago enjoyed a hero's return to Portman Road by netting both goals for the Blues against Panathinaikos.Counago, who scored on his last appearance for Ipswich Town when they beat Crewe 5-1 at the end of April 2005, delighted his fans on his first game back after a two-year absence.

By Derek Davis

PABLO Counago enjoyed a hero's return to Portman Road by netting both goals for the Blues against Panathinaikos.

Counago, who scored on his last appearance for Ipswich Town when they beat Crewe 5-1 at the end of April 2005, delighted his fans on his first game back after a two-year absence.

He said: “It was unreal to score two goals on my first time back at Portman Road. It may not have been a league game but even so it was important for me.”


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The Spaniard who signed on a free for the second time is now looking to make it three in a row at home when he makes his 100th league appearance for the Blues on Saturday against Sheffield Wednesday.

Counago believes the win over the Greek side - whose domestic season starts a week later - is the ideal preparation going into the Championship campaign but it won't be until mid to late September before Ipswich will know just how successful they can be this time around.

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He said: “It was a good win over a big team and it was good for us starting the first game of the season.

“It is too early to say how we will do, we won't know for sure until after five or six games, by then we will be able to see how we are and how the other teams are.

“We have some very good players here, not just the first XI but as a group. We are a strong team in the Championship but you never know. We can all work together and see where that takes us.”

Counago does not want to compare this current side with the team he played in that was relegated from the Premiership then made the promotion play-offs twice.

He said: “This is a different team at a different moment of time but football is always the same. It is about scoring more goals than the other team.

“With the mix we have with the experience like myself and Tommy Miller added to the players already here then I feel we can do good things as a team.”

Counago's two goals came in an up-tempo first half but he felt both sides felt the heat as the game wore on, although surprisingly Town handled it better.

He said: “The conditions were hot which was fine for me and the team did very well to keep the ball and once we scored it got easier for us.

“It was hard for both teams in the second half in the conditions but we did well.”

Counago will not be involved in the game at Dartford tomorrow night and the side will comprise mainly of fringe players and those needing games for fitness after injury.

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