Gaardsoe: You can still do it

THOMAS Gaardsoe today told former club Ipswich: “I want to meet you in the Premiership.”Gaardsoe was hurt when he was asked to leave Portman Road last August.

By Elvin King

THOMAS Gaardsoe today told former club Ipswich: “I want to meet you in the Premiership.”

Gaardsoe was hurt when he was asked to leave Portman Road last August.

The defender, who George Burley brought from Denmark as a raw midfielder in 2001, was sold to Nationwide League First Division rivals West Brom just before the start of the season.

Gaardsoe returned to Ipswich to help the Baggies step up their bid for automatic promotion with a 3-2 win.

And the Dane admitted he was delighted by the last-gasp victory secured by Geoff Horsfield's controversial injury-time goal.

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But he still hopes Town can negotiate the play-offs to return to the big league.

“It was very satisfying,” said Gaardsoe. “I was told by Ipswich that I could not be guaranteed a regular place and it means a tremendous amount to me that I have not missed a start since the first game of the season when I was injured.

“I have proved that I am good enough. On the other hand, I still think the world of Ipswich Town and their fans.

“I was given such a wonderful reception before the kick-off and I appreciate all the help I was given when I was a player here.

“We are getting closer to our goal of automatic promotion, although we still have a lot of work to do. But what would make it doubly pleasing for me is for Ipswich Town to be promoted with us.”

Gaardsoe has not helped Ipswich's cause with a goal in the 4-1 home win and an impressive display yesterday when West Brom showed their spirit and resolve to fight back after being outplayed in the first half.

“It was funny coming back to play, and Ipswich passed us off the park for the first part of the match. But we have an instinct in our side that refuses to let other sides wins without a real fight, and we battled back.

“We did not perhaps deserve to win, and a draw would probably have been a fair result, but we will take the three points.”

Gaardsoe revealed that the feeling in the dressing room was that the assistant referee had done them a favour by not flagging Geoff Horsfield offside for the deciding late goal.

“When Geoff was ruled offside earlier it was not him who put the ball into the net, it was an own goal by Matt Elliott,” added Gaardsoe.

“When a similar situation arose I don't think the official had the courage to raise his flag again.”

Winning had a short-term bonus for Gaardsoe as it meant he could spend an extra day in Suffolk with his partner staying and meeting up with friends.

“If we had lost we would have been training on Monday,” he explained. “Hopefully my next visit to Portman Road will be for a Premiership game next season.”

Former Town skipper Matt Holland was working for Radio Five and was impressed the Blues' first-half display. “They ended the half well on top,” he said. “But after Jason Koumas came on West Brom were able to wrestle control.”

Fabian Wilnis summed up the feeling in the Town camp after a long mentally-draining rollercoaster of a season of too many false dawns.

The Dutch full back said: “I am gutted, and can't believe it. I am mentally and physically drained.

“On the ball we looked like strong promotion challengers, and we were flying. But off the ball we were very average.

“This has been the story of our season so far. Two goals in a minute changed the game, and the late winning goal was very hard to take. Now we must really roll up our sleeves.”

Man of the match Jason Koumas said he knew he could score from his direct free-kick. He said: “I could see a gap, and as long as I found it the goal was ours.”

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