Holland: No regrets about Villa decision

MATT Holland vowed today that he has no regrets about staying with an Ipswich Town club now crisis-torn and under administration.The 28-year-old captain, who leads the team against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park tonight, rejected a move to Premiership Aston Villa in August after a £4million fee had been agreed by a Blues club desperate for cash.

By Dave Allard

MATT Holland vowed today that he has no regrets about staying with an Ipswich Town club now crisis-torn and under administration.

The 28-year-old captain, who leads the team against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park tonight, rejected a move to Premiership Aston Villa in August after a £4million fee had been agreed by a Blues club desperate for cash.

"Even after what has happened at this club, I feel that I made the right decision. It was a decision I made for family reasons and for myself. It was with no disrespect to a great club like Aston Villa.


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"Since then quite a bit has happened at Portman Road with us not justifying our close season favouritism for an automatic return to the Premiership and the administration situation.

"But, as a group of players, we just have to put the off-the-field worries to the back of our minds and get on with the job in hand. I still want to play Premiership football for this club again and feel that can still happen."

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The Republic of Ireland captain leads the team tonight in south London on a 250th league appearance outing, all those games being consecutive since his 1997 arrival. The Blues leader, who in all competitions has made 304 appearances, has set a target of nine wins by his club in the remaining 11 games that are left to make sure of a place in the First Division play-offs.

He feels it may be easier playing away after successive home disappointments. On their travels there has been the stirring 2-0 East Anglian derby win at Norwich, followed by a creditable 1-1 draw at Wolves.

"Teams come to Portman Road to make it very hard for us and you can't blame them for that. Playing away may suit us more just now with the opposition wanting to get forward and play their football, giving us the chance to play more openly as we like to do.

"We had our chances on Saturday in the Stoke 0-0. There were plenty of shots on goal. Hopefully that will be even more the case against Palace. They won't be getting men behind the ball as did a Stoke side that changed their system to counteract us. It could make for a better situation for us.

"While we have great home support, and love playing in front of our own fans, I think that going away will suit us better at the moment.

"Hopefully this will show with the result at Selhurst Park.

"Expectancy is high at home as you would expect. It's just disappointing that we haven't been doing it for the fans that have backed us so well.

"There is no lack of confidence, the administration situation has not affected the spirit or morale in the squad. Everyone is just as determined as ever, perhaps even more so.

"When we go out there on the field all the administration business is forgotten.

"We are a group of footballers wanting to do the very best we can for our club and of course ourselves."

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