Little Nabil's big ambitions

LITTLE Nabil Abidallah still hopes to make it big with Ipswich Town.And the former Dutch youth international has been given every incentive by Blues boss Joe Royle.

By Dave Allard

LITTLE Nabil Abidallah still hopes to make it big with Ipswich Town.

And the former Dutch youth international has been given every incentive by Blues boss Joe Royle.

"He's told me that I'm good enough for the first team – it's up to me to prove it," said the

former Ajax junior.

This time last year Abidallah was struggling to earn a regular place in the Town reserves line-up.

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Now he is regularly getting into Royle's first team squads and made an appearance as a late substitute in the 4-0 FA Cup third round home win over Morecambe.

Abidallah, who made Premiership substitute appearances against Bradford and Everton, now yearns for a senior Town start.

The 20-year-old midfielder from Amsterdam is always working on his 9st, 5ft 7in frame in a bid to strengthen for first team action.

He said: "I've been really boosted by what's happened since Joe Royle came here. Soon after he came he told me that he felt I was a good player capable of making the first team.

"He put me in with the first team squad and it's been great for me, a tremendous incentive. I know I can do it. Hopefully my chance will come and I can take it.

"I enjoy playing in the reserves, but I need first team football. I need that first team atmosphere where so much is at stake. In the reserves you're going for something of course, but in the first team it's so much bigger."

Abidallah, recruited as a 16-year-old from the Ajax youth set-up by the Blues' European scout Romeo Zondervan, has great energy, an excellent passing variation and good vision.

The player he most admires in English football is Liverpool's England star Steven Gerrard.

"Steven has such great pace and his awareness of what is going on around him is special," said Abidallah, who has a flat in Ipswich.

When he first came to the club he made a big early impression, but then his form dipped for a lengthy period.

"It takes time to adjust and I went back a bit but I feel stronger and fitter all round now," he said.

"Any player coming from Holland has to adjust fully to the English game before really showing what they can do. I think my time to really emerge may have come – I can't work any harder than I am doing."

Abidallah's contract has another year to run after the end of the current campaign.

He was grateful for the brief period he was given to show glimpses of what he could do at the end of the Morecambe tie.

He added: "It's not easy to show much in such a short time. I dream of getting more and more."

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