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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Gaardsoe is Town's headboy

PUBLISHED: 14:25 28 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:15 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Town's Yuletide headboy Thomas Gaardsoe has been taking lessons from a Blues aerial leader of the past, manager Joe Royle has revealed.

Danish central defender Gaardsoe has notched crucial headers in the last two games, the leveller in the 1-1 draw at Portsmouth and another equaliser in the 2-1 Boxing Day triumph at Leicester.

IPSWICH Town's Yuletide headboy Thomas Gaardsoe has been taking lessons from a Blues aerial leader of the past, manager Joe Royle has revealed.

Danish central defender Gaardsoe has notched crucial headers in the last two games, the leveller in the 1-1 draw at Portsmouth and another equaliser in the 2-1 Boxing Day triumph at Leicester.

No one was prouder than coach Tony Mowbray who, at the manager's request, has been giving him specialist headwork at the end of the main training sessions.

Ex-caretaker boss Mowbray, a former Town central defender, loved to get on the end of crosses and give keepers problems.

He hit the opening goal in the 4-2 Wembley play-off win over Barnsley with a header after a great run from the back.

"Tony has been doing a little bit extra with Thomas and other defenders at the end of training. We need to spread the goals about a bit and for Thomas to have got a goal with his head in each of the last two games is very, very pleasing," says Royle.

Gaardsoe, a million pound signing from Aalborg by former boss George Burley, has become a regular in the side under Royle as the central man in a three-man heart of the rearguard.

"Thomas has been a big plus for me. And he can go from strength to strength," said Royle.

The manager, a celebrated header of the ball himself during a long career as a striker that brought six full England caps, continued: "Thomas is a big lad and he can get up there in the air and head well. We've been trying to bring this out more and more and it's lovely that there has be such a good early return."

Mowbray has settled in well to a first team coaching set-up of Royle, his assistant Willie Donachie and himself.

"I always admired Tony as a player and I'm enjoying working with him now. When I was manager at Oldham I tried to sign him at a time when he was a young lad at Middlesbrough. I agreed a fee of £25,000. But Boro changed their minds," revealed Royle.

Fans of the Teesside club were glad Boro did have a change of heart. Mowbray, the Ipswich coach under former boss Burley, went on to establish himself as a big name at the north-east club.

He moved on to Celtic, where he became captain, and was also skipper of Town after the move to Suffolk.

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