Town thrash Clarets

Ipswich Town 6 Burnley 1SOME one was bound to get it sooner or later but it just happened to be Joe Royle's old pal Stan Ternent's Burnley who felt the full force of on-song Blues.

Ipswich Town 6 Burnley 1

SOME one was bound to get it sooner or later but it just happened to be Joe Royle's old pal Stan Ternent's Burnley who felt the full force of on-song Blues.

The Blues blitzed Burnley with five first-half goals in a 20-minute burst with two goals from Pablo Counago, one each from Jermaine Wright and Chris Bart-Williams and an own goal from Richard Chaplow.

Delroy Facey, on loan from Bolton, pulled one back four minutes after the break but Shekfi Kuqi hit a sixth in the dying moments.

Town skipper Jim Magilton and Mo Camara, the best friend of injured Blues defender Drissa Diallo, both hit the cross bar in a relatively staid second half.

Royle said: "That has been coming for a while. I felt someone was going to get it and it turned out to be my old mate Stan again. We were excellent and some of our forward play was awesome. We switched off a little in the second half when some of our players went walkabout and we had spoken at half time about the importance of keeping a clean sheet.

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"We were outstanding in the first half to score five and to miss the chances we have."

A month ago Town were bottom after six games without a win but with six wins in seven Town have now shot up the table to seventh spot.

Royle added: "Was it really only a month ago that we were bottom of the table? A month is a long time in a football manager's life.

"We now find ourselves six points off top spot, which is not bad considering some people had us relegated a month ago."

The winning margin also makes Town the highest scoring team in the division with 23 goals.

Royle said: "I'm not a great one for statistics but I'm proud of that one, especially when we don't have a runaway top goalscorer."

Double goal hero Pablo Counago, who now has six goals to his name, paid tribute to strike partner Kuqi and admitted it was about time they had enjoyed a better ratio of goals to chances.

He said: "Shekfi played very well again. We have a good understanding and we don't worry about the missed goals because we know we can score goals. We play with confidence as I do with the other Ipswich strikers. As long as I'm playing I don't mind who I play up front with, but with Shekfi we play with confidence and are relaxed together."

Again Counago could have had a hat-trick but settled for a brace.

He said: "I'm happy with two goals, I'm not worried about a hat-trick because I'm more worried about the team winning.

"It was a quite a special first half, it is not often you can score five goals in a 20-minute period but I'm delighted we did for the supporters and for the points.

"I don't think I have been in a team that was five up at half time since I was about 10 years old, then it was easy."

Ternent refused to allow the recent flu bug which has swept the club be used as an excuse but admitted losing players like Andy Todd who has been recalled to Blackburn and David May, who is suspended, did not help.

He said: "We have had the heart of our defence ripped out but those who come in must stand up and be counted.

"We are not looking for excuses, that performance was not acceptable. And do not take anything away from Ipswich. They are an excellent side.

"That was no freak result, Ipswich are a very good side and if they can keep the players like Mahon, Kuqi and Bart-Williams then they will be up there and a threat come the end of the season."

Burnley managed to 'draw' the second half with Delroy Facey pulling one back and Mo Camara hitting the crossbar but Ternent admits they were playing for pride at that point.

It was also a great night for 17-year-old Gerard Nash who enjoyed a fine 15 minutes after making his debut for Town after going on as a replacement for Georges Santos, who is struggling with a groin injury.

Royle added: "Gerard is a smashing lad, we need to build him up but he is a player."

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