Marcus: I'm not Stew-ing
MARCUS Stewart, the aspiring England striker who has started the Ipswich Town season with three blanks insisted: "I've been through it before and I know how to handle it.
MARCUS Stewart, the aspiring England striker who has started the Ipswich Town season with three blanks insisted: "I've been through it before and I know how to handle it."
The 28-year-old, who hit 21 goals last term as the Blues took the Premiership by storm after promotion and qualified for Europe, has failed to notch in Town's opening three Premiership contests.
"There are 35 league matches to go and there's loads of time," said the Portman Road player of the year.
"I've been in the game far too long to get worried about a situation like this. I'm a team man and my main concern is that the team wins the next game rather than me scoring.
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"At my previous club Huddersfield I once went ten games without scoring. It wasn't a situation I particularly enjoyed of course, but that's football and the main thing was that I kept on working as hard as I could for the team.
"Of course, it's always nice to get off the mark at the start of the season with a goal. It gives you an early lift, but sometimes it doesn't happen and it's important not to let the pressure build up.
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"I've been in the professional game a long time now and have experienced it all before. In a situation like that you must not let the pressure build up in your mind. You have to keep doing the job you think is right for the team in the belief that the breaks will come in front of goal.
"My plan is to maintain the work-rate and hopefully the goals will follow."
Stewart and his Town team-mates, together with the rest of the Premiership, are without a game this weekend due to England's crucial World Cup qualifier in Germany.
For some time, former England schoolboy international Stewart, who once played for his country at Wembley, has been touted as a possible England senior side man.
National head coach Sven Goran Eriksson and assistant Tord Grip watched Stewart several times over the closing stages of last term and there was a big pre-season boost when Grip flew to Estonia to watch him in action against FC Flora.
"I've been encouraged by what's been said about me regarding England, but I know that Mr Eriksson and Mr Grip want to see me scoring goals both in the Premiership and in Europe. And, of course, that's what I want too."
Stewart will be glued to his television set on Saturday night watching an England squad he one day hopes to join in action against the Germans.
He said: "If we get an early goal we can go on and win it. The fitness of David Beckham will of course be a key issue. I think that our individuals are better than theirs, but the Germans can be so good as a unit.
"A win would be brilliant, but a draw would not be the end of the world."