Counago wants to end career at Town

FANS' favourite Pablo Counago today pledged to stay with Ipswich Town for the rest of his career.

Elvin King

FANS' favourite Pablo Counago today pledged to stay with Ipswich Town for the rest of his career.

The 30-year-old Spaniard, who is under contract at Portman Road under June 2011, was linked with a move to Swansea at the start of the season.

But the striker, who has started three of the last four Championship games, says a move away from Suffolk never entered his head.

“I want to be at Ipswich until the end of my contract - and beyond,” stressed Counago, who first joined the Blues in 2001 but had a two-year break back in Spain from 2005.

“I have the same feeling for Ipswich Town now as I had two months - and two years - ago.

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“It is always gratifying to know that another club might be interested in you, but a move to Swansea was never serious as far as I was concerned.

“I'm happy here and this is where I want to carry on playing my football.”

Counago will be seeking his first goal of the season when Town entertain Newcastle United in the Championship on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm) when the north stand will be named in honour of former manager Sir Bobby Robson.

“There would be no more appropriate time to score,” he added. “Winning the game is a must, but scoring a goal would make it a double reason for celebration.

“It will be a big occasion and an emotional day, but what will make it special is for us to win the match and gain our opening victory of the season.

“I did not know Sir Bobby Robson personally but knew of him well for the good work he did as head coach at Barcelona and the long successful career that he enjoyed.”

Counago says that he is now getting back to full fitness after picking up a groin injury in pre-season.

“It is nice to know that I am currently in the manager's thoughts as it was a long recovery time, and it takes time to reach the necessary fitness levels when you miss out on the start that others have enjoyed.

“The manager has switched the front pairings around and this is to be expected with results not going our way.

“He has been doing the same in other positions.”

Town are expecting a crowd of around 27,000 for Saturday's game that is being shown live on BBC2. Ipswich have sold 25,000 tickets with Newcastle taking up their full allocation of 1,800 seats in the Cobbold Stand.

Ticket office manager John Ford said: “By kick-off, we could have another one or two thousand on top of our current figure.

“As always with a bigger crowd, we advise supporters to get to the game early.”