Audio: Ipswich Town striker Freddie Sears believes Andre Dozzell will stay grounded despite his debut goal
Freddie Sears knows exactly how Andre Dozzell is feeling after the 16-year-old burst onto the scene with a goal on his Ipswich debut, but insisted it’s now time for the teenager to keep his feet on the ground despite his stunning start.
Dozzell came off the bench to equalise for Ipswich in their 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, aged 16 and 350 days, following in the footsteps of father Jason, who scored on his first appearance for the Blues in 1984 also aged just 16.
The teenager said he was ‘left speechless’ after heading home Liam Feeney’s cross; a feeling Sears is familiar with, having scored on his debut for boyhood club West Ham in 2008.
Striker Sears has been impressed with Dozzell’s performances and attitude in training and believes the youngster, with the help of Jason, won’t be getting too carried away.
“You never forget it, the first goal, and you never forget your debut,” Sears said.
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“For me it was a bonus, scoring on my debut, and it’s the same for Dozzer. He’ll be buzzing and everyone’s buzzing for him.
“I’ve had this same sort of feeling (against Blackburn in 2008) which is obviously a great one, it’s probably a bit surreal for him right now because he’s just scored for Ipswich Town in the Championship.
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“It will sink in a bit later and I’m sure he will have loads of messages and things like that, but everyone’s delighted for him.
“We know how good Dozzer is, he’s been training with us for the last three or four weeks and he’s got real ability.
“He’s only 16, so if he didn’t have the ability then he wouldn’t be training with us, that’s for sure.
“He came on and it didn’t really faze him, and he’s ended up getting on the end of a good cross.
“Now he has to keep working hard and keep his feet grounded, which I’m sure he will. He’s got a good head on his shoulders and his old man has been there and done it too, which should help.”
While the decision will ultimately lie with manager Mick McCarthy, Sears doesn’t see why Dozzell won’t be involved for the Blues in their final four league games of the season.
“We’ve got a couple more games between now and the end of the season, hopefully he’ll get a run out,” Sears said.
“It’s down to the manager at the end of the day, he’s come on today and done well so I don’t see why he won’t be involved, but you don’t know in football.
“He’s had a taste of it and I’m sure he’s going to want more.”