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Ipswich Town’s Grant Ward unsure if he’d celebrate scoring against Rotherham United

PUBLISHED: 13:28 22 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:28 22 April 2017

Grant Ward, right, celebrates with Dominic Samuel after scoring against Birmingham City, but would he do the same against Rotherham United?    Picture: Steve Waller

Grant Ward, right, celebrates with Dominic Samuel after scoring against Birmingham City, but would he do the same against Rotherham United? Picture: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Grant Ward isn’t sure whether he’d celebrate scoring a goal against his former club Rotherham United.

Ward spent a successful 2015-16 season on loan at The Millers, from Tottenham Hotspur, before signing permanently for Ipswich last summer.

The 22-year-old made 40 Championship appearances for Rotherham, helping them avoid relegation, while also winning the club’s Young Player of the Year Award alongside ‘Goal of the Year’ (see video attached).

Sadly for The Millers, they haven’t escaped the drop this time around, and before Saturday’s encounter, are rock-bottom of the Championship.

“I enjoyed it there, it was a great experience, and I played a lot of games,” said Ward, who also spent time on loan at Coventry City, and with Chicago Fire, in the MLS, while under contract at Spurs.

“I was sad to see them go (down) this season, but I could see them struggling a bit because when I was there, we struggled, and did a end-of-season miracle (under Neil Warnock) to stay up.

“I don’t really know how we stayed up (that season), but they’re always around that area and it is a bit of an uphill battle so it’s hard for them.”

Former Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy said that he had no intention of celebrating when he scored for Newcastle United against his former club on Easter Monday, as Town won 3-1, but Ward isn’t so sure what he’d do if he was to score his seventh goal of the season.

“I think it depends on the goal,” said the youngster, while smiling.

“I probably wouldn’t celebrate just out of respect.”

Ward also admitted that his year-long spell at Rotherham, after growing up through the ranks at a Premier League academy, made him ‘a better player’.

“When I first went there, I think there was a conflict of how to play because the manager (Steve Evans) wanted me to play long, and I was trying to play short,” said Ward.

“I was going for the ball, but they were playing it long and I wasn’t getting to the second balls.

“It was something to learn from, and made me adapt my game, making me a better player.

“You want to show what your assets are, and I don’t want to turn into a different player, but you need to be able to play differently and be a bit smarter about it.”

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he would be more than willing to put teenager Flynn Downes into his starting line-up for the Championship opener against Birmingham City if his lengthy midfield injury list does not clear up.

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