Ambrose tips Town

DARREN Ambrose last night tipped Town to win at Sheffield United on Friday and then go on to play-off success.The Newcastle United winger took time off from preparing for their challenge for a Champions' League spot and a UEFA Cup final place to attend the Dale Roberts' Testimonial Dinner at the County Hotel, Copdock.

DARREN Ambrose last night tipped Town to win at Sheffield United on Friday and then go on to play-off success.

The Newcastle United winger took time off from preparing for their challenge for a Champions' League spot and a UEFA Cup final place to attend the Dale Roberts' Testimonial Dinner at the County Hotel, Copdock.

The 20-year-old paid tribute to the coach who won the Premier Reserve League title before succumbing to cancer, and to the man who offered such great advice to many of Town's stars.

Ambrose said: "Dale took me into the reserves when we won the reserve league and he was a great bloke and great coach.


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"He gave me some great advice on and off the pitch. He kept your feet on the ground and even now I remember things he said to me. Everything that came out of his mouth was positive and if you took notice you couldn't help but get better."

The event was a 300 sell-out with a raft of Town old boys in attendance, as well as the stars of today.

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Current players Richard Naylor, Darren Bent, Ian Westlake and Matt Richards all came through the youth system to play under Roberts while Ambrose, James Scowcroft, Wayne Brown, Matt Bloomfield, Neil Midgeley, David Theobald and Leon Bell were among the old boys who returned last night.

Ambrose has been keeping track on Town's progress and is hopeful that he will be lining up against them next season in the Premiership.

He said: "The ideal scenario would be for me to win the UEFA Cup and secure a Champions' League spot and for Ipswich to come up. It would be great to play them in the Premiership and I can see it happening.

"I wasn't too keen on leaving Ipswich but it was one of those things. I'm getting my fair share of games for Newcastle now and I'm enjoying it. Ipswich are still my team and I'm always looking out for their results and it is great to see Benty getting the goals again, although he never seems to score when I watch on live telly."

Last night's glittering occasion was organised by the Dale Roberts' testimonial committee headed by former blues boss George Burley, now manager at Derby County.

Burley said: "This was the first event as far as fund-raising for his family is concerned and it went very well. It was a sell-out, the Premier League clubs have all been very generous in their donations and it was a lovely evening."

Burley paid tribute to Roberts, who was his assistant at Colchester United and Ipswich Town, and he admits he still misses his friend and right-hand man.

Burley said: "Dale came to Ipswich as a 15-year-old with myself and was involved in the FA Youth Cup in 1972 and 1974 and later was my assistant as manager for seven years and took the club into the Premiership and Europe.

"Sometimes the assistant manager doesn't get the credit he deserves and that was the case with Dale. But he played a major part into taking the club into Europe.

"It was no coincidence that when he was not by my side the club's fortunes did not go as well.

"Dale was my best man, my best friend. I was godfather to his children and he mine and we could not have been much closer."

A provisional date of Wednesday, July 28 has been agreed for the Dale Roberts testimonial match when Ipswich Town entertain Newcastle, which would see the return of Sir Bobby Robson, Kieron Dyer, Titus Bramble and Ambrose.

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