Westy answers Joe's call

GOAL hero Ian Westlake could be excused his boob after netting the goal that wrestled three points off Luton Town in the Championship at Portman Road on Saturday.

By Elvin King

GOAL hero Ian Westlake could be excused his boob after netting the goal that wrestled three points off Luton Town in the Championship at Portman Road on Saturday.

His manager Joe Royle said that he preferred Westlake to play a fetch and carrying, all-action role rather than perform in the manner that made Dutchman Arnold Muhren a hero with Blues fans in the late seventies and early eighties.

Muhren was a silky-skilled lightweight performer who could thread a pass through the eye of a needle, but could not always be relied upon to pull his weight when it came to helping out his defence.

A pivotal player in the Town side that won the UEFA Cup in 1981, Muhren was on his way out of Portman Road to Manchester United by the time Westlake was born in 1983.

When told that the manager did not want him to perform like Muhren but to be himself, Westlake's reply was: “Who?

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“It was before I was born, and his name does not register with me.”

After being told about Muhren, Westlake added: “I must have made an error here and hope I have not offended anyone.”

Dropped after not pleasing the manager with his display at Hull on Wednesday, Westlake continued: “I don't think anyone else in the Championship could have supplied as good a pass as Darren Currie did for my goal.

“I could have been blindfolded and still have taken the pass down on my chest.

“We have a great team spirit here and the gaffer has kept our confidence high. He has not criticised after defeats and has kept us going.

“Sometimes you are left out in football - it is part and parcel of the game. The important thing is to show your worth to the team when you come back in.

“I am not quite as fit as I would like to be, and it takes longer to recover from matches when you are not 100 per cent.”

Jimmy Juan, who continues to turn in consistent midfield displays, stressed how important it was to score the first goal.

The 22-year-old Frenchman said: “It was such an advantage to go into the lead. We badly needed that after having to try and get back into the game in our previous two matches.

“We needed a win, and we got it against a very good side. It was very welcome.

“Defensively we were strong with Shane Supple exceptional in goal and making good saves in the second period.

“We are fortunate to have two quality goalkeepers at the club. For our confidence it was important to get back to winning ways, and now we must build on this at Stoke.”

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