Ipswich Town V West Ham

Post Match Comments
Audio Match ReportSaturday 14th October 2000
Portman Road

Hammers boss Harry Redknapp says plenty of teams will come unstuck at Portman Road this season after the 1-1 draw in Suffolk.

He commented:

"We started off on the back foot against a good team, and I certainly wasn't surprised by them. I saw them play Manchester United earlier this season and they should have won."

He was not downhearted after another saturday afternoon went by without a win - and he insists that a couple of victories will get his side up the table.

"We beat Coventry 3-0 the other week and they've won today and they're right near the top. Apart from Arsenal and Manchester United, there's not much in it."

But he did criticise his players for over elaborating on occasions, explaining:

"We need to shoot in some positions rather than try and walk it in".

But he says that he's prepared to accept some of the eccentricities of his forward line because of their outstanding individual skills saying:

"Di Canio will get 16 goals this season like he always does. You take what you can get with him, Joe and Freddie. You can't coach them because they play off the cuff so much.

"Paolo plays the game like no one else. He does incredible things and I would rather have players like that."

Redknapp was more concerned with the injury to Igor Stimac, who collided with Shaka Hislop late in the game.

He said:

"Igor has a nasty cut in the leg which went right throught to the muscle. It leaves us short for centre halves and I'm sad we didn't get the work permit for Haydn Foxe because he would have been ready to come into the side."

Paolo di Canio smashed a superb 72nd minute volley to equalise Marcus Stewart's early effort and seal a valuable away point for West Ham.

Trevor Sinclair swept a deep cross into the box and the number 10 drifted away to the back-post and unleashed a precision strike into the opposite corner to level the score.

The game was less than five minutes old when Stewart gave Ipswich the lead. Fabian Wilnis collected a short throw-in from Jermaine Wright and whipped a teasing cross into Shaka Hislop's goalmouth.

Stewart stole inside a static defence and glanced a header past the West Ham keeper for his fifth of an increasingly fruitful season.

And it was no more than George Burley's side deserved. Ipswich started the contest in the same vein as they had finished against Everton prior to the two-week international break.

They again went close to a second when Hislop failed to hold Stuart Pearce's cushioned header. Wilnis quickly levered a low pass across goal but Rio Ferdinand held off Stewart's challenge and cleared.

Jim Magilton then rattled the foot of the post with a 25-yard shot, in the 11th minute, as the Suffolk club tore into their big-city neighbours.

West Ham belatedly responded and Frank Lampard gave Richard Wright his first work of the afternoon with a low drive from 30 yards.

The young England keeper saved easily and skipped to his right, moments later, to gather another Lampard pot-shot which looped high into the air off di Canio's back.

Next up were Frederic Kanoute and di Canio, who broke dangerously in the 32nd minute but could not engineer an effort on goal from an excellent situation.

Ferdinand and Pearce combined to stop Jermaine Wright reaching Jamie Clapham's deep cross after Lampard's midfield mistake gifted possession to Ipswich after half-time.

Redknapp reshuffled in the 56th minute bringing on John Moncur replaced Nigel Winterburn. However it was the home skipper Holland, relishing a rematch against the club who let him go as a youngster, who nearly scored from 30 yards.

But step forward di Canio. The mercurial Italian, who won last season's goal of the season competition for his acrobatic strike against Wimbledon at Upton Park, notched another picture book goal to add to his collection.

Hislop, sloppy in the first-half, made the point safe, producing brilliant saves from Magilton and Hermann Hreidarsson in the last minutes.

However an accidental injury to Igor Stimac in the last minutes soured the afternoon.

He collide with Shaka Hislop just outside the box as the pair rushed to clear a through ball aimed at speedy sub David Johnson.

The Ipswich striker immediately called for a stretcher as Stuart Pearce cleared the ball for a throw.

Steve Potts came on for the final 180 seconds of action