SEAR WE GO AGAIN

Fred­die Sears is at the heart of an­other pro­mo­tion push at Ip­swich

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Paddy von Behr

FRED­DIE Sears is fight­ing his way back to the top and, af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing play-off heart­break last sea­son, he’s con­fi­dent Ip­swich Town are the club to take him there.

Sears swapped boy­hood club West Ham United for League One Colch­ester United in 2012, be­fore earn­ing a move to the Trac­tor Boys just over a year ago.

Un­der the tute­lage of Mick McCarthy, Ip­swich – who have been in the Cham­pi­onship since 2002 – made it to the play-offs, only to suf­fer a semi-fi­nal de­feat at the hands of fierce ri­vals Nor­wich City.

De­ter­mi­na­tion

Sears, how­ever, feels stronger for the ex­pe­ri­ence, and the 26year-old for­ward has no fear of fad­ing from the pro­mo­tion hunt when this sea­son draws to a close.

“We have a re­ally good man­ager here, who won’t let that hap­pen,” he said.

“We got there last sea­son. It wasn’t easy, but we have that steel and de­ter­mi­na­tion.We got a taste of it and we want to be there again this sum­mer.

“There is a tight group of teams go­ing to­gether and we know that two or three of them are go­ing to be there at the end of the sea­son.

“You look at Mid­dles­brough and Derby. Last week­end they both lost and that brings ev­ery­one back in it again.

“Then you think maybe it’s not over. And Brighton have been brought back down to­wards us re­cently.

“This club de­serves a crack at the Premier League. It has been some time since they were there and I would per­son­ally love an­other crack at it.”

Sears has not fea­tured in the Premier League since 2011, as part of the West Ham side that fin­ished at the foot of the pile and slipped down to the Cham­pi­onship.

It was half­way through the fol- low­ing sea­son that he ini­tially joined Colch­ester on loan, be­fore mak­ing the deal per­ma­nent that sum­mer. It’s a de­ci­sion he can look back on with great pride.

This sea­son has al­ready brought its ups and downs.

A much-changed Ip­swich side were dumped out of the FA Cup by League Two Portsmouth this week, while the goals have not flowed quite as freely for Sears or front man Daryl Mur­phy as they did last term.

How­ever, the for­mer Eng­land Un­der-21 man feels bet­ter than ever and heads to the busi­ness end of the sea­son filled with con­fi­dence.

“It was a tough call to leave West Ham but it’s about your ca­reer and you need to play foot­ball,” re­called Sears.

“There is no bet­ter feel­ing than play­ing on a Satur­day in front of that crowd.

Tougher

“That was the de­ci­sion I had to make. When I went to Colch­ester, that is what I wanted to do but – no dis­re­spect to them – that’s not where I wanted to stay for the next seven or eight years.

“It worked and I have ended up at a great club in Ip­swich. It has been a good year for me, I have re­ally en­joyed it.

“Foot­ball-wise I have been do­ing well and I am en­joy­ing my­self away from the pitch too.

“I am play­ing a bit wider, so it’s a bit tougher to get in on the goals, but the wins are the most im­por­tant thing.

“We had a break from the league and now we just want to get back at it and get some points.

“We know this league is a tight one. Whether or not we are in the top six now, it only mat­ters where you are on May 7.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

OLD FARM PAIN: Ip­swich and Sears lost to Nor­wich in last year’s play-offs

WE’VE GOT TRAC­TION: Daryl Mur­phy scores against Rother­ham while Mick McCarthy is tipped to keep Ip­swich in with a shout

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