Kuqi upset by defeat

BORROWED striker Shefki Kuqi could not hide his anguish after Town's winning Nationwide League sequence ground to a halt at the Stadium of Light last night.

By Dave Allard

BORROWED striker Shefki Kuqi could not hide his anguish after Town's winning Nationwide League sequence ground to a halt at the Stadium of Light last night.

Kuqi, who has arrived at Ipswich on loan from Sheffield Wednesday, marked his debut with a goal following his introduction as a substitute at Watford last weekend.

And he admitted in the wake of the Blues' 3-2 defeat by Sunderland: "It was so distressing to see us lose that late on."

The Finnish international worked hard up front before being replaced by Alun Armstrong after 70 minutes.

He added: "I thought our performance was good enough to have got us something from the match. Sunderland played well. But I thought we played just as well.

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"The dressing room was a sad place at the end, but we have to look forward. I don't now how long I am going to be here but I'm enjoying it."

Kuqi explained the situation regarding the Finland international against Canada in Helsinki on October 11.

Town boss Joe Royle is delighted that the big frontman is not going to play and will instead remain available for his outfit's First Division trip to Bradford.

Kuqi said: "I've spoken to the Finland national coach and have explained that I love playing for my country but as it is a friendly I would rather play for Ipswich.

"I have come to Ipswich to hopefully further my career in England and at the moment it is best I stay here.

"If it had been a competitive match it would have been different but in this situation I think I am doing the right thing. The Finland coach understands that Ipswich need me at the moment and that I can further my international career later on."

JOHN OSTER grabbed the goal that gave Sunderland a 2-1 advantage soon after the interval.

It was his second goal in two games for Mick McCarthy's men.

He said: "To come from behind as we did was great for the lads. I thought it was a terrific performance."

Oster had been in and out of the side under previous Black Cats boss Peter Reid but is now benefiting from the chance given to him by McCarthy.

Oster added: "The gaffer has given me every opportunity. I hope I can repay him. I'm improving my work rate and to have scored again is a real bonus.

"Ipswich played well and they gave us a real run for our money in that first half. But we were much better after the break following a bit of a sort-out in the dressing room. We are up to fifth in the table now and I believe we can take it on and on."

Town fan RICHARD STYLES made the long trip up to the North East from his home in Stowmarket but is making the football excursion part of a three-day visit to family and friends who live in Newcastle.

He said: "I'm a life-long Town fan and what better way to start off a little mini-break than by seeing my team win.

"In all honesty I feel gutted at the result but not with the performance. There was plenty to be pleased about from our display but once again defenders did not take responsibility at key times.

"It is no disgrace to lose to a team like Sunderland on their own patch. Town certainly deserved a draw and I feel that Jim Magilton did as well as anybody for us. He may have been getting a bit of stick from some fans but there is no way he will from me."