Pablo's love for Ipswich and its fans

PABLO Counago's love for Ipswich Town is such that he would commit himself to the club for life if he could, with Town fans saying Ole, to that.

Derek Davis

PABLO Counago's love for Ipswich Town is such that he would commit himself to the club for life if he could, with Town fans saying Ole, to that.

The Spaniard is enjoying his second spell at Portman Road so much he readily agreed to a new three year contract but has already said he would like to stay for longer.

Much of that is down to the belief manager Jim Magilton has shown in him and the support and affection he enjoys from Town fans.

Counago said: “Jim has made me feel very comfortable here. His confidence in me is very important to me.

“That makes me want to give everything for this club.

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“The club the fans everything has made me very happy and made me want to commit to Ipswich Town for the three years and maybe more.

“I will be 29 next week so a three year deal shows the confidence the manager has in me, and for me in the club.

“I hope that is the minimum I stay here for the club and for the fans.”

The Spaniard has constantly demonstrated his worth to the team, not just in his goals, bit in assists. He is probably the best player in the Championship with his back to goal and ability to splay passes left and right for team-mates, Jon Walters in particular ahs reason to be grateful as he cuts in from the right onto perfectly weighted passes from Counago.

His style of play means he is punished severely by defenders, and not always given adequate protection from officials but still he loves the English game.

Counago said: “I feel very good about English football and Ipswich Town in particular. You can never tell what will happen in three years but I can see me staying here for life.”

Born in Pontvedra in northern Spain, Counago started his career at Numancia but it was at Celta Vigo that he caught George Burley's eye playing for Span's Under 21s against England.

Tow were able to exploit a loophole in the system and signed him without compensation in the summer of 2001.

His one start in the Premiership was, against Town target Ivan Campo's Bolton, as he was mainly used as a substitute, in the relegation season.

He proved a hit in the Championship finishing top-scorer with 21 goals, including a UEFA Cup hat-trick. In the 2003-2004 season he had 10 goals by Christmas but a groin strain curtailed his involvement and a series of event left him as frustrated as Joe Royle side who missed out on promotion losing to West Ham and he left the club, along with Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi who had been the main partnership up front.

But he never fell out of love with Ipswich and Magilton engineered his surprise return last summer, something Counago is delighted about.

His family are settle din the area and he wouldn't even mind seeing his in an England shirt, although he is only a year old just now.

He said: “I love this place. My boy was born in Ipswich so we will always be part of Ipswich. I have a very special bond with the place now, it is a very special place to me.

“I'm Spanish and my country will always be Spain but we will see for my boy.

“If he likes football and wants to play and in 18 years time he has the chance to play for a country then he will be able to choose for himself.”

No doubt Town fans will say Ole, Ole, Ole, to that.