Reuser - sacking Burley was right

MARTIJN Reuser's goals helped take Ipswich into the Premiership and provided the platform for George Burley to enjoy his most successful two years in management, writes Derek Davis.

MARTIJN Reuser's goals helped take Ipswich into the Premiership and provided the platform for George Burley to enjoy his most successful two years in management, writes Derek Davis.

But the Dutchman believes Town were right to sack Burley in September 2002 and stop the rot.

Reuser was instrumental in helping Town reach fifth in the Premiership and qualify for Europe but suffered in the second year of the top flight and after relegation the fun had fled Portman Road.

He said: "From my point of view, and for a lot of the guys here towards the end, it was not a nice situation to work in.

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"Every day you would come to training and there was a negative vibe. We were under pressure, the results were not good and a few players were unhappy and when Joe came that all changed very quickly.

"No disrespect to George Burley, he is still a good manager, but it was time for a change.

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"Even from his point of view, although it is not nice to be sacked, maybe it was a good thing for him to have a change."

Burley brings FA Cup opponents Derby County to Ipswich today with yet another relegation battle on his hands and Reuser sees little hope.

He said: "They are a young side and with the financial problems they have good players have left so the manager has to use what material he has left.

"He is doing his best but with all respect it is a young side and you can see why they are struggling down at the bottom."

Conversely Reuser has been impressed with Joe Royle who should hand him his first start of the season this afternoon but has called for more consistency.

He said: "Joe has done a great job since he has been here but even so we have lost at stupid times and in stupid ways, against teams we would not expect to lose to.

"Every time we think we will push on we get a bad game or a bad result.

"Mind you it is the same for everyone in this division. They have the same dodgy games, same bad results and it is so tight which makes it all the more exciting.

"We have done well to get back up to where we are after being bottom so we must look at the positives."

Should Reuser start as expected, it will be his 100th Town appearance and he is itching to be in action from the off in a competition he loves.

He said: "I want to be in the starting line-up for every game. I'm certainly fit enough and I'm ready.

"I like the FA Cup, it is probably the most exciting club cup competition in the world. In the few years I have been here I have seen how important it is and how special it is to the fans.

"If you have a good run it can lift your confidence. It generates interest and that can only be good.

"If we can get past Derby today we have a chance of meeting a Premier League club and we can measure ourselves up to them."

After initially joining on loan from Vitesse Arnhem, Reuser made the move permanent in a £1m switch from Ajax during the summer of 2000 and has enjoyed highs and injury lows in the past three and a half years.

He said: "It is a little bit special for me as I have not played 100 games for a club before. I played about 70 for both Ajax and Vitesse Arnhem so to reach 100 here is good."

While winning the play-off final at Wembley was special for everyone, Reuser has other favourites, and funnily enough they are all games in which he scored.

"The games that stand out for me have to be the home game with Bolton in the semi-final and then Bradford at home and Portsmouth here as well last season."

Reuser continues to claim the winning goal at West Ham although accepts it may eventually be given as an own goal. Pablo Counago claimed he got a foot to the ball after a Reuser shot but replays show it was in fact Tomas Repka who got the final touch.

"That was my first goal of the season so that would be important."

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