Andre Dozzell targeting assault on Ipswich Town first team next season, according to dad Jason

Ipswich Town midfielder Andre Dozzell.

Ipswich Town midfielder Andre Dozzell.

Andre Dozzell is targeting a breakthrough campaign at Ipswich Town next season, according to his dad, legendary Blues midfielder, Jason.

The playmaker, who turned 18 on Tuesday, scored on his professional debut in Town’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday in April last year, and signed a three-year extension at the club on Tuesday, keeping him at Portman Road until at least 2020.

Recently, Blues boss Mick McCarthy conceded that Town were currently not good enough to accommodate a player of Dozzell’s ilk, given his tender years and the physical demands of the Championship.

Dozzell agrees with McCarthy’s assessment but thinks that his son could be nearing a more sustained challenge for a first-team spot come August.

“Obviously he needs to establish himself first and this year he was always only going to play a few games here and there,” said Jason.

“He is looking at next season, which will be a big year for him and he needs to come back flying.

“When he scored the goal on his debut, everyone expected him to go on and play regularly but there are hardly any 17-year-olds playing in the Championship.

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“But he has been working in the gym and you can see the difference between last season and now, it is quite apparent.

“He will keep that up over the summer – I think he has a few games with England (under-18s) so hopefully he can come back vibrant and ready to go.”

Dozzell took his goal at Hillsborough with aplomb, a glancing header across Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood, and has showed glimpses since of his undoubted ability.

However, the Championship is an unforgiving division and the teenager needs to still develop certain facets of his game.

“You have got to be able to tackle and go with your runner, and other things, and it is very demanding for a 17-year-old,” explained Dozzell senior.

“He will be better for the experience (of this season) but he has got to try and work on other bits of his game.

“You can’t do it the other way round and I want him to be a really good footballer that works on those other aspects of his game.

“I will leave that with Mick McCarthy, but I will always give him advice on how to establish himself.”