Dean needs 'clear the air' meeting

AXED striker Dean Bowditch wants to have a “clear the air” meeting with Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle.While the Blues' lack of firepower was evident for all to see in their 2-0 Coca-Cola Championship defeat by Crystal Palace at Portman Road yesterday, 19-year-old Bowditch was wondering why he was left on the sidelines.

By Elvin King

AXED striker Dean Bowditch wants to have a “clear the air” meeting with Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle.

While the Blues' lack of firepower was evident for all to see in their 2-0 Coca-Cola Championship defeat by Crystal Palace at Portman Road yesterday, 19-year-old Bowditch was wondering why he was left on the sidelines.

“From starting the previous game at Sheffield Wednesday to not even being on the bench against Palace makes it difficult for me to know where I stand,” said Bowditch.


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“The manager has said that he wants to have a chat - and I feel that we need that.”

With Sam Parkin, Adam Proudlock and Billy Clarke injured, Royle opted to play Nicky Forster up front on his own yesterday - and the Blues were hammered, hardly having a shot on goal.

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Bowditch, who hit the senior side with a bang as a substitute against Norwich as a 16-year-old, has already scored a hat-trick for the first team and made 67 appearances scoring eight goals.

He has a great deal of admirers among Town fans and many showed their despair during yesterday's game with calls for Royle to be removed.

West Ham's interest in Bowditch is thought to have diminished in recent weeks, but at one time the Londoners were planning a possible bid.

Bowditch added: “I work hard and only want to do well for Ipswich Town.

“I don't feel that I should be left out and yesterday was a massive disappointment.

“In the past it has been suggested that I have an attitude problem.

“Maybe certain people still believe that - but I totally disagree. Here's hoping that I will get a look-in during the remaining holiday period matches.”

Royle, who is hoping to bring in a loan striker or two during the transfer window, defended his decision to omit Bowditch against Palace, who finished with nine men and won through goals from Jonathan Macken (15 minutes) and Michael Hughes (61 minutes).

“Dean has scored just one goal in his last 26 Championship matches - and that was when he was on loan at Burnley last season,” said Royle.

“I have stood by him - perhaps for too long.”

Ipswich travel up to Hull tomorrow for their second game in a four matches in eight-day congested period.

Keeper Lewis Price passed a fitness on a groin injury, but looked ill at ease with some of his kicking in a game where Sito Castro played at left back and where Matt Richards was left on the bench on his 21st birthday.

Skipper Jim Magilton also remained unused with 17-year-old Danny Haynes creating a good impression wide on the right in the last 25 minutes.

It was a thoroughly depressing Boxing Day for Ipswich Town, and there were some worried faces behind the scenes among the club hierarchy at the final whistle.

Another bad display tomorrow night and there could be more criticism from the stands in Saturday's home encounter with another promoted club - Luton Town.

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