Reuser eyes play-off party
MARTIJN Reuser, whose introduction coincided with Ipswich Town's Highfield Road transformation, is looking to party.The second-half substitute played a significant part as the Suffolk side fought back from two goals down to beat Coventry City 4-2 and keep pressure on the teams ahead of them in the First Division play-off race.
By Elvin King
MARTIJN Reuser, whose introduction coincided with Ipswich Town's Highfield Road transformation, is looking to party.
The second-half substitute played a significant part as the Suffolk side fought back from two goals down to beat Coventry City 4-2 and keep pressure on the teams ahead of them in the First Division play-off race.
"How can I forget three years ago?" said the Dutchman, who scored in the play-off semi-final and final to help put Ipswich into the Premiership in 2000.
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"It was a great time and I would love some more. It was party time – and it could happen again."
Reuser had a big hand in two of the Blues' goals on Saturday. Marcus Bent and Pablo Counago both struck twice and ran Coventry ragged in the second period, but Reuser must take much of the credit.
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It was his shot that ballooned off Bent to put Ipswich back on course in the 51st minute and he created havoc on several other occasions.
From the moment of Bent's first goal Ipswich took complete control to collect their third consecutive away victory.
"I would like to claim that goal," added Reuser, "but it came off Marcus Bent's bum and was deflected towards the goal.
"I watched a video of the game in the coach on the way home and have to admit that my shot would have gone wide.
"Marcus knew nothing about it – he was bending to get out of the way. Thankfully he has a big bum!"
Reuser, who is available on a free transfer, will be hoping to start against Portsmouth at Portman Road on Good Friday. He is not content to be seen as a permanent substitute.
"I don't want to be known as a golden substitute. To be honest I am a little bit fed up sitting on the bench," said Reuser.
"I want to show the manager that I am worth a start. I am happy with the way I am playing."
Reuser, who was often a fringe player under the management of George Burley, is a big favourite with Town fans although much of his season has been blighted by injury.
"It is pleasing that we are still hanging in on the edge of the play-offs. It has been a case of if, if, if nearly all season," he said.
"It was nerve-racking watching from the bench in the first half, but we showed the spirit to reward our fans with a fine second-half show.
"I am available on a free transfer and we all know why. It is because of the financial situation. Other clubs do not have money to come in and my focus is centred on Ipswich.
"It would be great to still be here next year. I want to stay and I want to play."
Against Nottingham Forest the previous week, Ipswich lost a two-goal lead to be beaten 4-3 at Portman Road.
This time it was their turn to turn the tables and with Reuser on for Richard Naylor they were transformed after the interval to play some of their best football of the season and storm 4-2 in front inside 23 minutes of the restart.
Naylor suffered a knee injury and Jim Magilton was taken off as a precaution to protect his suspect groin after supplying the pass of the game that led to Bent's second goal – and Town's fourth.