Nathan Broadhead believes he has improved as a footballer since joining Town in the January transfer window nine months ago, and he believes he will continue to improve under manager Kieran McKenna’s coaching.

“For sure, I’m a better player,” Broadhead said. “It all comes down to my fitness, the coaching here, and everything else.” Another thing that has clearly increased since I arrived here is my awareness. Working for the boss and his coaching team, I believe I’ve improved in every way conceivable.

“To be honest, it feels like I’ve been here for much longer than nine months, but that’s probably because so much has happened and I’m having a great time.” Obviously, I have a few years left on my contract and am looking forward to accomplishing much more as an Ipswich player.

“The goal is to become better, fitter, and stronger.” It’s been a terrific nine months so far, but I want to improve, and I believe that will happen with the manager we have here.

“I know how he wants us to play so it’s all about improving every day in training and also putting in the effort on match days. It’s hard work that has got us this far and all the players share the credit.”

That’s exactly what Blues fans want to hear from the Welshman, who signed from Everton for an original sum of £1.5 million, acquired vital experience with loan spells at Burton Albion, Sunderland, and Wigan Athletic, and has improved his reputation in Suffolk.

Town have won six of their seven league games so far, so it’s not surprising that Broadhead was questioned if such a good start to life back in the Championship had taken them by surprise.

Ipswich Town forward Nathan Broadhead wins February's League One Goal of  the Month for free-kick against Sheffield Wednesday
“I don’t think so,” said Broadhead. “We’ve always had great belief in ourselves, especially last season when we won promotion, and it has just carried on from there really.

“We have just got stronger and stronger together, the way the manager wants us to play. I think it’s great for us and hopefully we can get promoted again this season.

“That is our goal, and we strive to win every game.” Everyone wants promotion, even the fans, and as long as we’re winning games, we could have a chance.

“Don’t get me wrong: there’s still a long way to go, but it’s an encouraging start.” We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves too soon in the season.

“I came into the season having previously played in the Championship, and I think I’ve done well.” But I’m always wanting to develop, and the way the manager wants us to play here differs from how previous managers have wanted us to play.


“It’s more intense both on and off the ball, so you have to be fitter and stronger to play that way.” I believe the games I’ve played thus far have provided me with a solid foundation for doing so.”

Following wins against Sheffield Wednesday and Southampton, Ipswich is one of just two EFL clubs with a perfect away record; the other is Championship opponent Leicester, who are second in the standings thanks to a goal difference two better than Town’s.

Broadhead scored the only goal in a win for loan side Wigan against Blackburn last season, and he would be content with a similar result tomorrow.

“I actually remember that goal,” he smiled. “Will Keane [the ex-Town striker now playing for league leaders Preston] tried to chip the keeper and I scored on the rebound. It was a bit lucky but I’ll take it. I was playing as a striker in that game and they all count.”

They certainly do and Broadhead has scored three times this season, probably the most important goal being the one that launched the team’s magnificent comeback against Cardiff, who were 2-0 ahead at the time.

He said: “It was an important goal, that one, because we were trailing by the two goals. They are all tough games in the Championship but to come back and win 3-2, I think we did a good job.”

Broadhead is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Tony Broadhead, who became a legend at his home club, Bangor City.

After beginning as a free-scoring striker for Oswestry Town, he went to Bangor for £2,000 before joining Altrincham, who were one of the country’s non-league giants at the time.

His first season in Greater Manchester saw him score 20 goals in the same amount of appearances, and despite injury issues, he remained a regular marksman who was also known for his strength and pace throughout his tenure at Moss Lane.

He had scored 52 times in 160 games by the time he left early in the 1974/75 season, and when he returned to Bangor, he continued to score consistently for them until the 1980s.

Broadhead, who played schoolboy football for Bangor before moving on to Wrexham and then Everton’s junior systems, said: “I haven’t really seen him play.” He was a semi-professional who was allegedly quite good.

“People still talk about him, and I’ve had people approach me and ask if I’m related to him.”

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