Shefki's call

SHEFKI Kuqi has called on the Blues fans to create the right rip-roaring atmosphere and push the team into the play-off final.The Finn, who netted his 20th goal of the season to give Town a vital equaliser at West Ham, is looking for the Portman Road crowd to wreak revenge on the Hammers.

SHEFKI Kuqi has called on the Blues fans to create the right rip-roaring atmosphere and push the team into the play-off final.

The Finn, who netted his 20th goal of the season to give Town a vital equaliser at West Ham, is looking for the Portman Road crowd to wreak revenge on the Hammers.

Last season a jumping Upton Park played a part in Town's downfall in the second leg and the Supporters' Player of the Year is hoping the Blues' reception will do the same to West Ham this year.

Kuqi said: "Our fans have been brilliant all season so now hopefully we can make it the last Championship game at Portman Road for at least a season.


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"We finished 12 points ahead of West Ham so it was disappointing for a lot of people not to make it on the last day.

"So this is now the moment we have been waiting for all season, the chance to get promoted. Hopefully, the fans will be up for it and it is important we as players are up for it and can get them going.

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"We have a lot to give them and they have a lot they can give us.

"The more noise the better to put pressure on West Ham."

Almost 7,000 Town fans invaded east London but were left stunned when they went two down within 13 minutes with goals from Marlon Harewood and Bobby Zamora.

Tommy Miller forced an own goal from keeper Jimmy Walker and Kuqi hit the all-important equaliser.

The Finn said: "For us to come from two goals down shows character. After half an hour we started to move the ball around well and we know we can always score.

"We conceded two easy goals but the lads showed great character to get back into it and then go on and get a draw.

"We still have 90 minutes to go but we did well. This will give us even more belief. We have been playing really well at home and we have to make sure we do so again on Wednesday."

Away goals do not count and the game will go to extra-time and penalties if the scores on the night are level.

The Kosovan-born striker who has won league titles in Finland, is convinced Town will get the goals needed and urged patience.

He said: "We have been playing some wonderful football at home and move the ball so well and can score goals.

"We know how well we can play but at the same time it is a case of being patient. It is not a case of going mad from the first minute and look to get four or five goals, we need to be ready and when we do score, we need to stay cool.

"Hopefully it will be just one goal, but as long as we score one more than they do that will be enough."

The omens are also in Town's favour, with a remarkable sequence paralleling Town's winning promotion in 2000. The Blues had been two-down against Bolton, who they had lost to in the previous year's play-offs, and then went on to beat them in extra time in the second leg at Portman Road.

Town's success that season was the last major game to be played at Wembley, while this year's play-off final will be the last one held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

n The remaining tickets for Wednesday's game are on sale at Portman Road this morning with 5,000 available to personal callers to the Constantine Road ticket office.

Phone bookings will be taken for today only in order for tickets to be posted, on 0870 111 0555.

n KELVIN Davis has been linked with a summer move to Arsenal.

The Ipswich Town Players' Player of the Year and PFA Championship team keeper is among a number of players Arsene Wenger is reportedly interested in to replace Jens Lehmann.

Davis has been outstanding for Ipswich this season and a key signing for the Blues who picked him up on a free from Wimbledon almost two years ago.

Wenger will not make any moves for any players until after the summer break.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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