Darren plans to dampen Town's cheer

OLD boy Darren Ambrose today vowed to put a dampener on the Blues' Christmas cheer by adding to his impressive goal tally in Saturday's Championship game at Selhurst Park (kick-off 1pm).

Elvin King

OLD boy Darren Ambrose today vowed to put a dampener on the Blues' Christmas cheer by adding to his impressive goal tally in Saturday's Championship game at Selhurst Park (kick-off 1pm).

The 25-year-old netted twice when Palace beat Town at Portman Road in August, and has scored 13 times since joining the Londoners for free from Charlton in the summer.

Ambrose has great memories of his time at Portman Road having come through the academy before being sold for �1million to Newcastle in March 2003 to help ease Ipswich's critical financial situation.

But this will not stop him aiming to end Town's 10-match unbeaten run.

“It was nice to score twice in the corresponding match, and I am looking to score again at the weekend,” said Ambrose.

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“I'm fit and raring to go and looking to make up for my penalty miss in our 1-1 home draw against Barnsley last Saturday.

“It was my first touch. If we had won we would have gone to within two points of the play-off positions.”

Ambrose's career has blossomed this season and he says that playing for the controversial Warnock has been the key.

“The manager knows where to play me,” explained Ambrose. “He plays me in the position that suits me best and knows what is best for me.

“I have a role that I enjoy and enjoying my football is the main reason the goals have flowed.

“It has proved a good career move for me and I owe the manager a lot for having faith in me.”

Ambrose had a brief spell back at Portman Road last season when he appeared in nine games from November to January. He failed to find the net and the loan from Charlton did not work out.

“It was a cameo return and I felt that I played well, but the goals would not come,” added Ambrose.

“If I had just managed one it could have made a big difference.

“In one game I had six shots in the first half, but the keeper made some great saves.

“It was sad to leave, and I did not want to go when I was sold to Newcastle.

“I have had some fantastic times at Ipswich and loved it there. I have some great memories.”

Ambrose sees the play-offs as a realistic target for Palace, and doesn't rule out a leap up the table for Ipswich.

He went on: “The two most consistent sides will take the two automatic places.

“The way the division is there are many others who will be looking to nick a play-off place.

“We feel we can do that, and clubs in Ipswich's position can also do it.

“We are expecting a hard game with Ipswich looking to move up the table and we won't underestimate them.”

Ambrose, who has a contract at Selhurst Park until the summer of 2011 with an extra year option based on appearances, will be joined in the Palace team on Saturday by another ex-Town star.

“Alan Lee is the best of his kind in the division,” said Ambrose. “He holds the ball up and brings others into play.

“It is a pleasure to play with him, and he is playing really well right now.”