Stern's goal forgotten in late mayhem
ON any normal weekend, Stern John's first goal in more than a year would have stolen the back page headlines.And yet the fact that John ended his 13-month goal drought, during Ipswich Town's pulsating 3-2 home win over Coventry City, was rather forgotten in the mayhem that ensued in stoppage time.
ON any normal weekend, Stern John's first goal in more than a year would have stolen the back page headlines.
And yet the fact that John ended his 13-month goal drought, during Ipswich Town's pulsating 3-2 home win over Coventry City, was rather forgotten in the mayhem that ensued in stoppage time.
However, Crystal Palace loanee John was in a buoyant mood after this topsy-turvy showdown, declaring that he sees his long-term future at Portman Road, not Selhurst Park.
Front-runner John netted an equaliser, just before half-time, with a sweet header from Liam Rosenior's cross, as Town turned the tables on the Sky Blues. Remarkably, it was his first goal in 32 games!
“It's a great feeling to be a part of Roy Keane's squad again,” enthused John, who has now bagged 98 senior goals in his career in England, spanning the last 10 years.
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“I know what the manager wants. You just have to do the business and work hard.
“I think we can have a good rest of the season, and I'd like to be here for it!
“Hopefully, this goal will have helped my cause. I've been playing well, and I hope that I can stay here.
“I have not spoken to Neil Warnock (Palace manager) yet. He's said nothing to me.
“I've got no idea when I'm due back. I'm delighted and happy to be at Ipswich, and I don't think that I'm part of Crystal Palace's plans, so I hope to be a part of Ipswich's plans,” added John.
The 33-year-old is currently in his second month on loan at Town. His current short-term stay expires at the end of this month, after which Keane might want to land the Trinidad & Tobago international for the rest of the season.
Manager Keane revealed: “Stern John's loan lasts for another two weeks, but a lot can happen in that time. You shouldn't be worrying about that.
“Stern has not been on the losing side for us yet, because he couldn't play at Crystal Palace.
“He brings a lot to the table, both on the pitch and in the dressing room. He's doing well, but he knows that he could be doing even better. He's brought what I thought he would to the club.”
John spoke of his relief to finally score a goal, having gone the whole of 2009 without finding the back of the net. It was his 87th league goal.
Ironically, his previous last goal had also been at Portman Road, during his loan club Bristol City's 3-1 defeat at the hands of Town on December 10, 2008. Counago scored that day as well.
“A striker is judged by the goals he scores,” admitted John.
“That's 32 games since my last goal, so it's a relief to score. I was not living up to my standards, because I've always been accustomed to scoring goals.
“But I wasn't that worried, because I'd been playing well the last couple of games.
“To win feels fantastic. But it was nail-biting at the end. I went off after about 60 minutes, and we were in control at the time.
“Their equaliser was a real kick in the teeth, and the stadium went very quiet. But the lads came back at the end.
“The gaffer came into the dressing room and said that we deserved it.
“But we must learn to kill off games. We could have lost it. Yet it was a fantastic finish from Pablo Counago.”
John was unlucky not to score his first goal in a Town shirt a month ago, during his home debut in the goalless draw against Peterborough United. His header was controversially ruled out for a foul.