Deano rewarded with Boston start

TWO-goal midweek hero Dean Bowditch will be rewarded with a place in the Ipswich starting line-up at Boston tomorrow.The teenage striker, a half-time substitute at Cambridge United on Wednesday, netted twice as Town launched into their warm-up programme by coasting to a 3-0 success.

TWO-goal midweek hero Dean Bowditch will be rewarded with a place in the Ipswich starting line-up at Boston tomorrow.

The teenage striker, a half-time substitute at Cambridge United on Wednesday, netted twice as Town launched into their warm-up programme by coasting to a 3-0 success.

Bowditch is a certain starter against the League Two outfit and could even form part of a three-pronged strike force with new boys Nicky Forster and Sam Parkin.

Ipswich boss Joe Royle, still recovering from knee replacement surgery last week, did not attend the game at the Abbey Stadium two days ago.

But he said today: “I saw Deano's goals on television and he took them very well. Then I watched a video of the entire game and he made a good all-round contribution.

“That made up my mind for me that he should start at Boston. He's a nice kid who is eager to do well for the club and we all want him to have a good season.”

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Bowditch's double blast at Cambridge is hopefully the shape of things to come after Royle sent him away at the end of last season with a strong message ringing in his ears.

And the Town boss was quick to see the difference in the young striker when he returned for pre-season training.

Royle said: “Dean has filled out a bit and is stronger. He's a shade over six feet tall now and he's only just turned 19.

“He made his senior debut very early -he came into the side as a 16-year-old - and when that happens it often means that the level of expectation is a little bit high at times.

“Goals were what was missing from his game last season, so the two he scored at Cambridge will have done him the world of good and we now want him to push on still further.

“It is really up to Dean. He has all the ability - that has never been in doubt - but we are looking for him to show the mental toughness to go with it.”

Royle has hinted in the past that Bowditch may end up occupying a similar withdrawn role to that perfected by the two players he most admires, Dennis Bergkamp and Teddy Sheringham.

But it is still very early days and the England Under-19 ace will gladly settle for a first team place in any position in the forthcoming season.

Royle reflected on the win at Cambridge and added: “There was good and bad in that we created our usual plethora of chances and also had a bit of a dodgy defensive spell.

“But it was definitely a worthwhile exercise and we will be looking to step things up a bit at Boston.”

The Town boss will again be absent tomorrow, but intends to be at Portman Road on Tuesday, when the visit of Scottish champions Rangers looks like attracting a 20,000-plus crowd.

He said: “I am having the stitches - actually they are more like staples - removed on Monday and my first target is to be around for the game the next day.”

Bowditch apart, Royle revealed that on-loan Monaco midfielder Jimmy Juan, also introduced at half-time in the midweek stroll, will also start for Town at York Street.

Royle will trim Wednesday's 23-strong squad down to 18, while Boston counterpart Steve Evans is looking for a major improvement following Wednesday's disappointing goalless draw at Braintree.

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