Interview with Velice Sumulikoski

Velice Sumulikoski There's plenty more to come, insists Shumi, Ipswich' most successful signing this season, as he comes to terms with English football.

The Macedonian international has arguably been manager Jim Magilton's most successful signing during the January transfer window but the 26-year-old believes he has a lot more to offer the Blues.
Sumulikoski admits it has taken him longer than he thought to cope with the physical rigours of life in the Championship but, with the bedding in process now completed, he is ready to show more of the form that earned him the tag of the Balkan Steven Gerrard.
"It is probably harder than I thought it would be," said Sumulikoski, who completed a £600,000 switch to Portman Road from Turkish club Bursaspor in January. "I'm a foreign player in a new country and it is all new to me but I feel I'm adapting slowly.
"I was flying around so much between Turkey, Macedonia and England that it was difficult. I feel a lot more settled now and feel I will only get better."
Sumulikoski has been credited by many fans for adding a touch of steel to the Blues' midfield and has demonstrated in his nine games for Town why Blackburn were keen to take him to Ewood Park in the transfer window.
The midfielder is acting as a nice foil to the more creative talents of Owen Garvan but has demonstrated a capability to get forward, most notably against Blackpool when he set Ipswich on their way to a 2-1 victory with a thunderbolt against the Seasiders.
Sumulikoski shot to the attention of club scouts when playing for Macedonia against England in the 2008 European Championship qualifying campaign.
He will win his 50th cap next week but has vowed not to let his international commitments interfere with Town's fight for the play-offs.
Sumulikoski faces a hectic schedule when he flies out for a friendly against Bosnia-Herzigovina next Wednesday before returning for Town's clash against QPR the following Saturday.
"It will be difficult again going to Macedonia then Bosnia and then back," he admitted. "It may just be a friendly but it is important to me – I won't let it be a disruption. It will be my 50th cap and I'm very proud of that.


"It is a big rivalry. We were both part of Yugoslavia before the separation so we know each other. Some players have friends in the Bosnia-Herzegovina and I know a couple too."
Despite the political tensions that exist in the Balkan region Sumulikoski prefers to do his talking on the pitch.
He said: "I like football, not politics so I just concentrate on the football."
The former Zenit St Petersburg man believes Ipswich are handily placed to make the play-offs and has called on his team-mates to stick together as the season approaches its final furlong.
The Blues squad had been stung by criticism after going four games without victory but Sumulikoski admitted it was a relief to get back to winning ways against Charlton on Saturday.
"It was a hard game but a welcome the three points," he said. "We had to fight for it but we won.
"We all fought together and if we show that togetherness then we will not have a problem. We have eight games to come and I feel we can win enough to get in the play-offs."
Meanwhile, the club coaching staff have been buoyed by the news that Shefki Kuqi's considerable hamstring has been strained rather than torn.
It means that the big Finn could be back in action sooner than originally expected although he will definitely miss the Blues vital trip to Scunthorpe on Saturday.
Kuqi's emotional return to Portman Road was cut short when he had to be stretchered off against Charlton but there is hope he could be back in action before the end of the season.
"Shefki's problem is a hamstring strain and he will definitely miss the Scunthorpe game at the weekend," Town physio Matt Byard told the club's official website.
"We will monitor his progress through the week and have more of an idea on when he may be back either at the end of this week or the start of next week, depending on how his rehabilitation goes."
David Norris is also rated doubtful for the trip to Glanford Park with a heel injury that forced him to be substituted against the Addicks at the weekend.
"We have not ruled David out of Saturday's game completely yet, although he is obviously doubtful," added Byard.
"He has a plantar fascia strain (heel) which is quite a common injury. He is keeping the weight off it at the moment and again he will be resting up this week and we will see where that leaves us in a few days time."

The interview is taken from

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