By Georges, that were grand
GEORGES Santos, Ipswich's former Sheffield United defensive giant, understandably had a special glow after the Blues' conclusive win over the Blades.The French defender, who spent two years at Bramall Lane earlier in his career, said: "I must admit that this victory has left me with a very sweet feeling.
By Dave Allard
GEORGES Santos, Ipswich's former Sheffield United defensive giant, understandably had a special glow after the Blues' conclusive win over the Blades.
The French defender, who spent two years at Bramall Lane earlier in his career, said: "I must admit that this victory has left me with a very sweet feeling.
"Every player likes to come out on top against an old club and I'm certainly no different.
"I had a happy time at Bramall Lane and still have many friends on the staff there. But that takes nothing away from the fact that this was an extra special victory for me.
"The most important thing though, is to get the three points. We could have played better but in many ways it was the perfect afternoon with us scoring three goals and keeping a clean sheet. Everyone in our camp finished with a smile on their face.
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"There was so much spirit and fire from our team and the crowd were terrific. It really was a lovely afternoon for us."
Santos added: "We're not just thinking in terms of a play-off spot, far from it. We genuinely believe that we can get one of the two automatic promotion places."
SHEFKI KUQI, Town's on-loan striker from United's arch rivals Sheffield Wednesday, says that he has hopes of getting the best Christmas present for which he could wish.
The Finland international, who scored the Blues opener from the penalty spot after he had been brought down, revealed that his current loan deal expires on Boxing Day.
"It would be the best Christmas present I could wish for if it were to be extended," said the powerful front man.
He added: "I'm delighted to be at a club like this that is going in the right direction. I've just got to keep on working as hard as I can. There is a great squad of players here and I'm just so happy to have been given the chance to work with them."
Kuqi insisted that being a Sheffield Wednesday player did not serve as any extra spur to him in this game.
"I give my best whoever I play against. I don't think that the United rivalry with Wednesday had anything to do with how I performed," he said.
IAN WESTLAKE, one of the Blues' goalscoring heroes, had rehearsed his
second-half goal celebration in the opening period, only to be frustrated by an offside flag.
The young midfield player latched on to a ball from Darren Bent to fire in and set off in glee towards the South Stand fans.
But he turned round to see that the effort had been ruled out by what looked a very marginal offside decision.
Westlake's official second senior goal came after the break as the 20-year-old from Clacton raced on to a Kuqi pass to rifle in past former Town loanee Paul Gerrard.
"After putting the ball in the back of the net in the first half I turned around looking for team-mates to celebrate with, but there was no one there as they had realised the offside decision," said Westlake.
"So it was so wonderful to get the goal that did actually count. I felt I should have had a couple of goals but I'm very, very happy with one. The main thing is that the team got the right result. It was a good all- round effort and I thought that the defence was brilliant.
"This is a very tight league and it's down to how we play and not how other teams play. I think we deserved our success and hopefully we can put together another good run."
Westlake admitted that it is special to play in the first team with players that he was brought up with in the academy ranks.
He said: "Players like Darren Bent and Matt Richards have been around me for years. We know each other's games so well and it's great to be playing with them."
KEITH EDWARDS, the former freescoring Sheffield United striker, now working for Yorkshire radio, said: "United didn't really fire as an attacking force. They never really got it together up front.
"On a normal day away from home they would carve out far more opportunities than they did in this game."