Santos: Fighting spirit will get us up

GEORGES Santos believes this Ipswich Town's team's ability to get down and dirty will be the reason why they win promotion.The Blues showed their battling qualities on Tuesday to come from behind to win at Crystal Palace and Santos (left and above right) is convinced his team-mates' expericen with other struggling sides in the past leaves them well-equipped to handle the tough times.

GEORGES Santos believes this Ipswich Town's team's ability to get down and dirty will be the reason why they win promotion, writes Derek Davis.

The Blues showed their battling qualities on Tuesday to come from behind to win at Crystal Palace and Santos (left and above right) is convinced his team-mates' expericen with other struggling sides in the past leaves them well-equipped to handle the tough times.

The former Tranmere Rovers, West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield United and Grimsby Town, defender has been in enough dog-fights to not be fazed by this season's challenge.

He said: “I have had to fight to succeed ever since I was a kid. I hate to lose, in five-side or anything and I will always fight in training and in games to do well.


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“That is the way I have always been. It is true when you have played, like Drissa did with Burnley and there are other players too, for struggling sides then you learn to be even more determined and you know what it takes to survive difficult times.”

The Blues squad has shown terrific togetherness to surge into the top six after being down in 18th place at the beginning of the month and Santos was not the least surprised when they overcame a two-goal deficit to win at Palace on Tuesday.

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He said: “Even when we were two down I was confident we could come back and win.

“This side has quality and we are a compact unit. Our spirit makes the difference and that is why we won.

“You may not always play good football because first you have to fight and work for the right to do that.”

Town are looking to extend their winning streak to six in a row, and make it nine wins out of 10 at Preston today and would be reuctant to settle for a draw.

Santos added: “We want to take the run to six wins and we are going there for the three points, but we would settle for one point away if we had to as it won't be an easy place to go to.

“I have played against Preston a few times and I know them quite well. David Moyes put together a very good side and now Craig Brown has taken them on as well and they like to try and play football.

“They have some good quality players and we know Ricardo Fuller is a good goal-scorer.”

This is one of the rare times Santos has been in to the top echelons of the league and he is loving it.

He added: “We are in the right position with 31 games to go. Four points behind Wigan at this stage is very good and I have no doubt we will finish in the top two.

“Before I got injured when I was in my first season at Sheffield United we were in the top six but then we slipped out of the top 10.

“I played with Tranmere and West Brom, and last season Grimsby when they have been near the bottom, and that toughens you up.

“Sheffield United and West Brom are big clubs, and I have a lot of respect for them, and Tranmere, but they can't compare with Ipswich.

“This is a big club that has the potential to be back in the Premiership. I can see Sheffield and West Brom have shown they might be able to get into the Premiership but I feel more comfortable with Ipswich's chances of getting there and doing well.

“With some clubs the pressure is always to avoid relegation but at Ipswich the pressure and expectation is to finish in the top six, or even top two.”

And the big Frenchman dismisses any thoughts that his groin strain is hampering him in any way.

He said: “We are all enjoying ourselves at the moment and when you are winning you forget about injuries or tiredeness.”

That fighting spirit in evidence once more.

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