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Former Ipswich Town manager George Burley says Blues can build for future around youth stars

PUBLISHED: 08:55 14 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:48 14 September 2017

Flynn Downes has impressed for Town so far. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Flynn Downes has impressed for Town so far. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Former Ipswich Town manager George Burley is delighted at the emergence of Blues’ young guns such as Flynn Downes this season.

Burley came through Ipswich’s famed youth ranks of the 1970s as a player, before giving the likes of Darren Ambrose, Titus Bramble and Kieron Dyer their first-team bows at Portman Road, during his time as manager.

A regular watcher of the Blues at Portman Road, the Scot accepts Town are not on the same level financially as some of the Championship’s big-spenders, but says their current crop of youth players could prove invaluable to the club.

“What’s pleased me is they have got the opportunity to build a club and build a team, including players from the academy and it’s been great to see the likes of Flynn Downes and Tristan Nydam given their chance over the last four to six games,” said Burley.

“I have been particularly impressed by Flynn Downes, he has got an old head on young shoulders, he is a bread and butter player who does the simple things well.

“Ipswich won their first four games, yes they have lost the last two, but hopefully they can rebuild some of that early-season momentum and continue to involve the youngsters.

“Ipswich can’t compete with some clubs in terms of spending money, so they have got to be able to bring young players through.”

Ipswich are back in Championship action at the weekend when bottom side Bolton head to Portman Road.

The Trotters, promoted from League One last season, have yet to win a game and have conceded 14 goals in seven games.

So, should Town, who began the season with four straight wins, go gung-ho against the strugglers?

A massive 97 per cent of readers who voted on our online poll earlier this week, called for Bersant Celina to start, given his positive cameo as a substitute in the 2-1 loss at QPR last Saturday.

But Burley added: “The Championship is so competitive and teams are well-matched, whether they are at the bottom or at the top of the division. Just look at Cardiff who had won five of their first six games and then lost 3-0 at Preston.

“Bolton’s confidence won’t be too high, however, Phil Parkinson will have them very well-organised and very competitive.

“Hopefully Ipswich can get back to winning ways but Bolton certainly won’t come to give them the points.”

Former Lincoln City defender Bradley Wood has been banned from football and all football activity for six years following an FA investigation into ‘unusual bets’ placed on Ipswich Town’s FA Cup replay defeat at Sincil Bank last season.

Gerard Nash believes Mick McCarthy would have got Ipswich Town in the top six this season had he had a fully fit squad to select from – but admits it’s time for everybody to move on.

Bersant Celina is back in the Ipswich Town squad to face Aston Villa this weekend while there could also be a Portman Road bow for young defender Chris Smith.

Ipswich Town are not going up and not going down but the Blues can still impact the promotion race and the relegation battle.

Ipswich Town’s final game of the season against Middlesbrough has been designated ‘78 Day’ as the club honour the FA Cup-winning side of 40 years ago.

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The next Ipswich Town manager will have decisions to make regarding a number of players this summer. ANDY WARREN looks at the players with most to gain.

Ipswich Town are searching for just their 16th manager in their professional history. So who do you think should replace Mick McCarthy?

As Ipswich Town search for just their 16th manager in their professional history, ANDY WARREN looks at the big challenges facing the next man in at Portman Road.

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