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‘You want to beat them and prove the manager wrong’ - Former Blue Ward on facing Lambert’s Town

PUBLISHED: 05:55 10 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:11 10 October 2020

Grant Ward is in the Blackpool squad to face Ipswich Town today.Picture: ARCHANT/BFC

Grant Ward is in the Blackpool squad to face Ipswich Town today.Picture: ARCHANT/BFC

Archant

Grant Ward will be out to prove Ipswich boss Paul Lambert wrong when he takes on his old club this afternoon.

Grant Ward in action for Town U23s during their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Playford Road Photo: ROSS HALLSGrant Ward in action for Town U23s during their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Playford Road Photo: ROSS HALLS

Ward joined Blackpool at the end of 2019 having been released by the Blues the previous summer, with a knee ligament injury suffered on Boxing Day 2018 bringing his time at the club to an end.

He took his time to find his feet and regain full fitness after signing for the Seasiders, but he’s now become a regular in Neil Critchley’s side, operating on the right of a central midfield three.

He’s likely to start against his old side this afternoon and admitted he has an added desire to do well and prove to manager Paul Lambert that releasing him was the wrong decision.

“The longer your career goes on, the more likely it is you’re going to play against one of your old teams at some point,” Ward told The Gazette ahead of the game.

“It will be nice to see some familiar faces but I think it also gives you an extra incentive to do well, you want to beat them, prove the manager wrong or things like that.

“I think I’m motivated the same for every game anyway but when you’re on the pitch it might give you that extra bit of drive, we’ll have to see.

“It’s two teams who probably shouldn’t be at this level. Both teams will be wanting to do well this season, so it should be a good game.”

Looking back on his time at Ipswich, which started with a debut hat-trick against Barnsley in 2016 before ending with a cruel injury, the former Tottenham youth product said: “I had a good start at Ipswich, I came on at half-time on my debut and scored a hat-trick, which was nice.

Grant Ward is helped off the pitch in some discomfort at Loftus Road Picture PagepixGrant Ward is helped off the pitch in some discomfort at Loftus Road Picture Pagepix

“I enjoyed my time there. It probably didn’t go the way I thought it was going to end because a new manager came in and I did my ACL fairly early on and that was my last game, which obviously wasn’t the way I wanted it to end.

“I still enjoyed my time there though.”

With his career moving in the right direction again, Ward is enjoying his football and feeling good. “For me personally I’m just happy to be back playing now,” he said.

“I was out of the game for a while through injury and there was the Covid situation, so it’s just nice to be back training and playing and feeling good again.”


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