Stead had to take his chance

JON Stead answered his manager's plea, for one of his strikers to "stand up to the plate," by scoring his quickest ever goal in Ipswich Town's impressive 3-1 home win over Blackpool on Saturday.

Carl Marston

JON Stead answered his manager's plea, for one of his strikers to "stand up to the plate," by scoring his quickest ever goal in Ipswich Town's impressive 3-1 home win over Blackpool on Saturday.

Stead broke the deadlock after just 29 seconds to send Town on their way to only their third win of the season, a result that has lifted them out of the relegation zone.

Boss Roy Keane had been critical of his team's habit of squandering chances, with special reference to his goal-shy strikers, but Stead has now netted four goals in the last eight games.


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And the ex-Sunderland and Sheffield United striker was also thankful for the faith shown in him by Keane.

"I have had to be patient and wait for my chances, because we have a very big squad here," explained Stead.

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"The manager is playing me, which indicates that either he's warming to me or the other players are not doing the business. I don't know which.

"But I've always got on well with Roy Keane, that's never been an issue.

"Roy Keane was a fantastic player and a legend in the game. It's an honour to play for him.

"When you're dropped for a couple of games, you do tend to wonder, but just about every player has gone through that.

"The manager's just been figuring out what his best side is. There have been a few ins and outs, and I hope to stay in the team now.

"I've had a nice run of games. I always said that I'd score goals if I was starting games. That's three starts in a row now," added Stead.

Stead crashed a 20-yarder past keeper Matthew Gilks, and midfielder Jack Colback doubled Town's lead on the stroke of half-time.

Man of the match Gareth McAuley headed home the killer third in the 71st minute, just four minutes after Ian Evatt had pulled a goal back for Blackpool.

"That's the quickest goal I have ever scored," revealed Stead.

"It was a good finish. I spoke to the keeper after the game, and he told me that at first he thought the ball was going wide, then it came in.

"It was a great start for us. That set the tempo for the game.

"Of course it's nice to be out of the bottom three. It's the first thing we look out for when we get in the dressing room at the end.

"We're unbeaten in 10 games and we're going in the right direction.

Two or three more quick wins and we'll be moving up the table at a fair rate of knots," concluded Stead.

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