Joe: Bergkamp an example to Dean

IPSWICH striker Dean Bowditch was today urged to follow the example of another striker who bears the same initials as he seeks to end a long barren spell.

IPSWICH striker Dean Bowditch was today urged to follow the example of another striker who bears the same initials as he seeks to end a long barren spell.

The advice came from Town boss Joe Royle when he said: “Deano only has to look at Dennis Bergkamp, probably the most gifted player who has played in this country for a long time.

“I have said in the past that Deano will probably end up playing in a similar position to Bergkamp, as a striker with more of a free role, and I stand by that.

“But look at Bergkamp for Arsenal last night. There was an end product to his play when he delivered a goal - and that's the last little bit that is missing from Deano's game right now.”

Essex-born Bowditch, 18, has netted three first-team goals this season. Surprisingly, he has managed to score just once for Town's second string.

He burst on to the scene at the age of 16 when he came off the bench to help win an East Anglian derby at Carrow Road two seasons ago.

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And he rewrote the record books in March last year when he became the youngest Ipswich player to score a hat-trick with a triple blast in the 4-1 home win over Watford.

Royle was quick to add: “Deano has terrific technique and he knows there has to be an end product.

“Defenders defend, midfield players create and forwards need to score. Deano's general play is good - it's just his lack of goals that gets him down.

“But there is never a day goes by without us working on finishing. We have done it with Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi and we do it with Deano as well.

“We are encouraging him to get into the six-yard box.

“I've told him a tap-in from six inches counts just the same as a 30-yard bender and most goals scored are of the less spectacular variety.”

Training ground work has paid off in the case of Bent and Kuqi, who have scored 27 goals between them this season.

And with Pablo Counago axed from Town's squad for the weekend trip to Sheffield United, Bowditch is next in line for an attacking role.

Royle added: “Deano is a great talent. You tell him something and it sinks in, but he is still growing and filling out.

“He is ahead of Pablo at the moment and waiting for his chance. In the reserve game on Monday night his second-half display was getting towards his best and he hit the post.

“But he knows what is missing - goals - and he is working hard to put it right. His general form has been good.”

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