Dean back and ready

DEAN Bowditch is back, buzzing and ready for action.The Blues' striker is available for the play-offs after returning from a three-month loan stint at Burnley but first he will figure in Ipswich's reserve game at Portsmouth tonight.

DEAN Bowditch is back, buzzing and ready for action.

The Blues' striker is available for the play-offs after returning from a three-month loan stint at Burnley but first he will figure in Ipswich's reserve game at Portsmouth tonight.

The England Under-19 forward has come back to Portman Road enthusiastic and excited about the coming three weeks, and believes he is a better player and person after his Turf Moor experience.

Bowditch said: "I have learned to defend that's for sure.


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"Burnley have kept 22 clean sheets and that is because they get behind the ball. I have learned how to use my body better and I have become stronger.

"I may not have been banging in the goals but I have contributed in so many other ways and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience."

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Bowditch, who has been with Ipswich since he was 10, found things in Lancashire something of a culture shock – on and off the pitch.

He said: "It makes you appreciate exactly what we have at Ipswich. Playing at Burnley taught me a different style. I'm so used to the Ipswich way of passing round players whereas at Burnley they like to turn teams and get behind them. It is real in-your-face football based on a lot of hard work."

With regular first-team football now under his belt, Bowditch is hoping he can get back into the Town squad that travels to West Ham on Saturday, for the first leg of the play-off semi-finals.

Bowditch's boundless enthusiasm and freshness will be a refreshing breeze blowing in after the disappointment of the weekend, and will hopefully give everyone a lift.

The highly-rated 18-year-old prospect said: "It is great to be back with the lads, and I'm looking forward to playing at Fratton Park tonight as I didn't play on Sunday.

"Nothing has been said yet but hopefully I can then get back training with the first-team squad and be involved.

"I was really upset for the lads on Sunday. I have not played that much in the league for Ipswich but I know how upset they must be feeling right now. But we are guaranteed at least two more games and promotion is still a possibility.

"I feel great coming back, I'm buzzing and really looking forward to playing my part if possible."

Bowditch, who scored three goals for Town before his loan spell, started eight games for the Clarets, scoring in the home win over Watford as he helped them to a mid-table finish.

Meanwhile, David Unsworth has returned to Portsmouth but will not play a part in their final match of the season at West Brom.

James Scowcroft, on loan at Town from Leicester, is available for both semi-final games, but will not be allowed to play in the final as his 93-day loan spell will have expired.

Town reserves will leapfrog Pompey and Leicester if they win tonight and finish the season third from bottom. Anything less than a win and they will be the basement club.

n Ipswich target Mo Camara is one of eight players that have been released by Burnley.

The EADT revealed earlier in the season that the Blues had a loan bid for Camara rejected, but they could well try to land the out-of-contract international team-mate of Drissa Diallo during the summer transfer window.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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