Sam praises travelling fans

UNDER-fire Blues striker Sam Parkin has praised the 500 travelling Ipswich Town supporters for their backing at Brighton.While Seagulls fans were celebrating getting permission for a new stadium, the Blues fans enjoyed the free bubbly and fully backed their team - and the much-criticised striker.

By Derek Davis

UNDER-fire Blues striker Sam Parkin has praised the 500 travelling Ipswich Town supporters for their backing at Brighton.

While Seagulls fans were celebrating getting permission for a new stadium, the Blues fans enjoyed the free bubbly and fully backed their team - and the much-criticised striker.

Parkin repaid them with a 39th minute equaliser to take his tally to five for the campaign, all away from home.


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Dean Hammond gave Brighton the lead, while Parkin also hit the crossbar with another effort.

Parkin was delighted to get his fifth goal in eight trips, with the Blues contingent among the 6,867 crowd, Brighton's highest gate of the season.

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He said: “They were great. The fans were very vocal and got behind me and the team. I don't have any problems with supporters away from home. They are a different class.

“It would be great to score at home. I would love to do that but, if I get 15 goals and they are all away from home, I'm sure the lads will snap my arm off for that.

“A goal is a goal whatever, and a point away was very important.”

After a much-improved second half, the Blues were disappointed not to take all three points.

Parkin said: “It was a shame we didn't win the game because we created the chances, so we are disappointed we didn't get all three points because we created three good opportunities second half.

“We wanted all three points but it didn't happen but we drew and we can build on what was a decent second half performance.”

The £550,000 signing from Swindon nodded in after a collectors' item of a left-footed cross from Fabian Wilnis, and might have scored another.

He said: “I was pleased to get a goal, maybe against run of play a little in the first half, but we went in even at half-time.

“I had timed my run perfectly and was disappointed for it not to go in. I had two chances, scored one and hit another against the bar, so it was not too bad for me.”

And he joked: “I said to Fabian he should have put the cross in earlier. But no, it was a great cross into a good area and I have got the touch. I was happy to see it go in.”

While Parkin had the Blues backing, he was less popular with the Brighton supporters, even before he had netted for the fourth time in his three visits to the Withdean.

He said: “It is a difficult place to play but I have done well here in the past, so it is a good ground for me. The Brighton supporters get behind their team and generate a decent atmosphere.

“The fans don't like me here but that is probably because I always scored goals. It is the same for most strikers, going back to grounds where they have scored, to get stick. I got stick virtually everywhere I went with Tommy Mooney when we were at Swindon.”

Parkin is hoping to lead the attack again on Wednesday when Town go to struggling Derby County, and its purpose-built Pride Park Stadium.

He said: “Pride Park will be a new experience for me, going to these amazing stadiums. Going to places like Leicester and Derby, and every other week at Portman Road, is all new to me and I love it.”

“It is a terrific motivation. The only other time I have been there was for Chelsea reserves with about 50 people watching.”

The Blues have been told they will not be able to play Norwegian midfielder Vemund Brekke-Skard until the January transfer window opens, after is was decided the 24-year-old has been playing as a professional, but the club are looking at ways that he can be made eligible.

Gerard Nash is pencilled in to make his long-awaited return to reserve team action tonight when Ipswich Town's take on Watford at Portman Road (7pm kick-off).

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