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Fans’ favourite Luke Hyam yearns for a run of starts in an Ipswich Town shirt

PUBLISHED: 10:00 29 November 2012 | UPDATED: 10:03 29 November 2012

Luke Hyam

Luke Hyam

Archant

THE local lad and the gentle giant.

Luke Hyam hopes he Guirane N’Daw can forge a fearsome midfield partnership for Ipswich Town.

The pair both scored their first goals for the club in Tuesday night’s impressive 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest, also providing a potent mix of power and tenacity in the middle of the pitch.

Senegalese powerhouse N’Daw – brought in on a season-loan by former manager Paul Jewell but then head-scratchingly marginalised after an impressive display at Brighton – has been a revelation under new boss Mick McCarthy.

And with Nigel Reo-Coker out of action with a hamstring injury, Hyam – whose crunching tackle in the early moments set the tone – took his chance with both hands with a typically tenacious display.

Town’s record when Hyam starts reads W13 D6 L8, but the 21-year-old former Northgate High School pupil has never started more than seven matches in a row since breaking into the team under Roy Keane at the start of the 2010/11 season.

“All I want to do is cement my place in the team,” said the midfielder, whose attitude and professionalism has been praised by a string of managers now. “I want to play more than I have in previous seasons.

“Managers have always told me to just keep working hard and to be ready to prove myself when my chance came around. I’ve always said that once I’m in I’ll show what I can do and hopefully that’s what I’ve done. Hopefully that’s what I did and hopefully I can play more games now.”

Speaking of N’Daw – who played with heavy bandaging around the head wound he suffered against Peterborough – Hyam said: “I enjoyed playing alongside him. He’s a quiet lad, his English isn’t the best, but he works so hard. He’s got great passing ability as well.

“I thought all the boys worked extremely hard, you could tell we were working for each other and that showed in the result.”

With Town fans joyously chanting ‘he’s one of our own’ following Hyam’s goal, the midfielder said: “It was incredible. You could see by my celebrations that I lost my head a little bit!

“I grew up watching Ipswich Town from the stands and always dreamt of playing for this club. I had my mum, my dad, my brother and a few friends come to see my first goal and the fact that it came in a win made it even better.

“The support I’ve had from the fans has been amazing. I’ve got so much respect for them and I’d like to thank them all for making me feel so welcome. I just want to do them all proud.”

Ipswich Town U18 Academy boss Alan Lee is hoping his young charges can keep up the proud Blues tradition of success in youth football, with victory against Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tonight, at Portman Road, 7pm ko.

Ipswich Town U23 3

QPR 0

Ben Morris hit a brace and Aaron Drinan opened his account in a blue shirt as an experienced Ipswich Town under 23 side eased past QPR 3-0 at Playford Road today, writes Kieren Standley.

FA Women’s Premier League

South East Division One

Ipswich Town 9

Haringey Borough 0

Ipswich Town Ladies bounced back from last Sunday’s disappointing FA Cup exit to Charlton with an emphatic 9-0 trouncing of bottom of the league Haringey Borough at the Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe, writes Kieren Standley.

Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen is set to appeal the red card given to Eunan O’Kane following his altercation with Jonas Knudsen.

Episode Six: Stuart Watson and Andy Warren are back for another episode of the Kings of Anglia podcast to discuss the win over Leeds, Portman Road atmosphere and the latest transfer news.

Bersant Celina revealed just how much the adulation of the Ipswich Town fans means to him after his latest match-winning effort.

It’s that kind of season. Just when everything seems to be miserable, and the fans’ anger is mounting, along comes a victory to lighten the mood. At least temporarily, writes Northstander Terry Hunt.

Saturday was a much-needed day for Town fans, writes Karl Fuller.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and former Blues boss Roy Keane could be in direct competition for the Republic of Ireland job if Martin O’Neill is lured to Stoke City, according to the Irish Sun.

And so the heat is once again turned down on the bubbling pot of discontent.

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