Bowditch is on stand-by for cup tie

IPSWICH Town have delayed Dean Bowditch's second loan spell of the season to League One Brighton.This is to have him available to answer a striker crisis in Saturday's FA Cup fifth round tie at Premiership Watford.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town have delayed Dean Bowditch's second loan spell of the season to League One Brighton, writes Elvin King.

This is to have him available to answer a striker crisis in Saturday's FA Cup fifth round tie at Premiership Watford.

The 20-year-old has been hampered by a long-standing groin problem, but he is being kept at Portman Road in case Town manager Jim Magilton needs him against the Hornets.


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Ipswich have found goals hard to come by, having failed to score 13 times in 36 matches this season.

And to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup they must find a way through the defence of a Premiership side now showing their best form of the campaign.

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With 12-goal Alan Lee suspended and recent signing Jonathan Walters cup-tied, Magilton has limited resources up front.

He said last night: “I have been asking around to see whether I can bring in a loan signing.

“But I have drawn a blank so far, and it is not going to be easy.

“If no one comes into the squad we have Billy Clarke and Danny Haynes, plus Gary Roberts can play up front and George O'Callaghan has also filled that role in the past.

“And we are holding on to Dean Bowditch, so he can come into the equation.”

Bowditch started the first three games of this season, but has only made one other start since then - in the Carling Cup at Peterborough.

He scored his first Town goal for many months when he found the net at QPR when he came on as a substitute.

Since then he has made one start and three substitute appearances during a previous loan spell at Brighton - scoring one goal

“My injury is getting a lot better,” said Bowditch. “But if I come back too early again I might be out for longer.

“It is an inflammation problem around the tendon, and hopefully this Saturday will be okay.”

FOUR Ipswich Town youngsters are in the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad for a tournament in Madeira later this month.

Keeper Shane Supple, defender Michael Synnott, midfielder Owen Garvan and striker Billy Clarke are in a 20-man party that meets Slovakia on February 27, a Madeira side a day later and Portugal on March 2.

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