Marcus Stewart: 'Bonne can fire Town into the play-offs'
- Credit: PA
Former Ipswich Town star Marcus Stewart says hot-shot Macauley Bonne can get the goals that could fire Town into the play-offs this season.
Stewart, whose goals helped the Blues into the Premiership back in 2000 and then fired George Burley's side to a fifth-place finish the season after, admits he sees some similarities between Bonne and the way he used to play.
"I quite like him, he seems a very honest player, he works hard for the team," Stewart said.
"What I liked about his goal at the weekend was it reminded me a bit of myself, how he got across someone, glanced the ball.
"He's a fox in the box, there were a couple of other crosses he almost got on the end of. He runs towards the goal quite a lot and he attacks the perfect cross. He's got an instinct.
"I'm not saying he's just like me, but he has similar traits. He works hard for the team, he's a bit of poacher. He maybe doesn't drop off like I used to and get hold of the ball. He's more a central player.
"But at the moment he's getting the goals that could get Ipswich into the play-offs, because you need a goalscorer."
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Stewart scored goals wherever he went during a career that saw him play more than 650 league games. He knows the importance of having a player who can find the net.
"Every club wants and needs a goalscorer, Macauley has got off to a great start," he said.
"My goal when I played was to get 10 goals before Christmas, your half-way marker. Anything more than that was a bonus, so he's well on course to do that. And if he can do that, as I said, they have a goalscorer in their ranks and Ipswich have a real chance.
"They just need to stop conceding goals. Clean sheets are key now."
Town face some tough games coming up, including trips to Portsmouth and Plymouth in the coming weeks. Stewart admits picking up points at places like Fratton Park and Home Park is important.
"Ipswich have quality players," he added.
"After what was a disastrous start, they are starting to win a couple of games, lose, then win another couple. So, it's coming, it's not perfect, they are not Sunderland at the moment, but they're improving.
"I've seen it happen before. If you are in touch around Christmas, five or six points off the play-offs, or top, all you need is a run of games and you are up there.
"If they can get a win at Portsmouth or Plymouth, that would be a good turnaround."
And Stewart added this.
"Ipswich have a chance. After five or six games there's often a team in that bottom six who claws their way out of it and goes on a real run. Let's hope it's Ipswich."
The only issue for Town is that Bonne is on a season-long loan from QPR. Some pundits, including former QPR boss Ian Holloway, feels the west London club could well call him back in January.
Town travel to Cambridge on Saturday.