Prolific scorer Ray is banking on Stead

RAY Crawford, the Blues' most prolific scorer, today banked on Jon Stead getting the goals to lift Roy Keane's side up the Championship table.

Elvin King

RAY Crawford, the Blues' most prolific scorer, today banked on Jon Stead getting the goals to lift Roy Keane's side up the Championship table.

Manager Keane bemoaned a lack of goals as the reason Town are not better placed than their current 20th position.

He was disappointed that his players failed to take their chances in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Leicester City - the 13th draw in 24 league games.

But Crawford, who netted 204 times in 320 Ipswich games stretching in two spells from 1958 to 1969, says Stead has what it takes to make it a memorable final four months of this campaign.

Crawford is not so complimentary about fellow Town strikers Tamas Priskin and Pablo Counago however.

Most Read

But speaking of Stead, who is currently in Dubai while in the middle of a harsh four-match suspension for a challenge at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, Crawford said:

“I watched the Leicester game and with Jon in the side I think Ipswich would have won.

“I am 100% behind him.

“He is a willing runner who works hard and is good in the air.

“Jon has not been given enough credit for what he has achieved with Ipswich and he has already shown how well he can finish.

“And he has something on me as he is effective when he helps out his defence and can often be seen clearing dead ball kicks out of his own box.”

Crawford may be 74 but he remains sharp and has watched a number of Town games this season working for BBC Radio Suffolk.

Despite only picking up four victories so far he can still see them reaching the play-offs.

“I have said all along that Ipswich are capable of making the top six,” added Crawford, who is based in Portsmouth.

“A striker needs to be greedy, and when I played I did not go home happy if I hadn't scored a goal.

“Okay we may have won and that was good for the club, the team, the fans and for me as it meant a �4 bonus.

“But I wanted to score every time, and if I failed it made me try that much harder in the next match.

“I can see that in Jon. But not so much in Tamas or Pablo.”

Crawford has not seen enough of Priskin to write him off, but what he has seen of the �1.7million Hungarian international has not been encouraging.

“I have to say that I don't think he's good enough for Ipswich,” added Crawford.

“He has not impressed me despite having a good pedigree.

“But moving to a new club does not always work out.

“I moved to Wolves and after losing my first game 6-0 against Liverpool I scored twice in the next match against Blackpool and scored 39 times in 57 games.

“But when I went to West Brom I suffered an injury and although I was there for 13 months I only managed seven goals, which was just not good enough.”

And reflecting on Counago, Crawford said: “He is not my cup of tea. He might be okay if it is warm and he has good control.

“But he's not a striker I can relate to and one that is going to get you regular goals.”

Crawford, who won two England caps while at Portman Road and is the proud holder of First Division (and Second Division) championship medals, is pleased he is not still playing.

“We just got on with it when there was snow and ice around,” he said.

“They cleared the lines and we played, and when the ground was hard we switched to rubber studs.

“And fans made their way to the stadium regardless of how severe the weather. I'm glad I'm not still playing.”