Dean hopes for no rivalry

DANGEROUS Dean Bowditch is hoping the sell-out Carrow Road crowd will put their local rivalry behind them and cheer him as an England player tonight.The Ipswich Town teenager made his debut at Norwich City and helped swing the game towards a Blues victory after going on as a substitute, in March 2003.

DANGEROUS Dean Bowditch is hoping the sell-out Carrow Road crowd will put their local rivalry behind them and cheer him as an England player tonight.

The Ipswich Town teenager made his debut at Norwich City and helped swing the game towards a Blues victory after going on as a substitute, in March 2003.

All Town players, past and present, are naturally given a rough time by the Canaries, but with Bowditch likely to partner home-grown talent Ryan Jarvis against the Czech Republic he is hoping a truce will be called.

Bowditch, who opened the scoring in Town's 2-1 win over Coventry City on Sunday and then shared a car to Norwich with own goal victim Matthew Mills, expects grief but is still relishing wearing the Three Lions tonight.


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He said: "Carrow Road is a special ground for me as that is where I made my debut and we did well that day.

"This is England so I hope the Norwich people will forget all about the Ipswich thing for 90 minutes. The rivalry is intense, and I understand that, but I will be trying to ignore it and concentrate on helping England win.

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"It should be a fantastic atmosphere, it is a sell-out, which is a great effort and I'm sure the crowd will back the team completely."

The 18-year-old, who has banged in three league goals in five starts this season, is challenging for a place up front alongside Jarvis, who has not played much part in bottom-of-the-league City's Premiership effort so far this season.

Bowditch said: "Ryan and I get on very well on and off the pitch. Of course we have a bit of banter about our clubs, which is normal, but he is a really good lad and a very good player.

"He is a bit bigger and stronger than me but we complement each other up front so hopefully we will get to play together.

"Training has gone well and after a rest on Monday I felt sharp and buzzing in training on Tuesday."

Jarvis will just be happy to play in front of a crowd after making just one first-team start on home soil – and that came over 18 months ago when City were beaten 3-0 by Wolves at the tail end of the 2002-03 season.

Last term he was limited to an occasional appearance as a substitute, more often than not in the dying minutes of games – and since the Canaries made it into the Premiership he hasn't had a look-in.

He said: "It will be nice to play in front of a crowd at Carrow Road – that hasn't happened for a little while now.

"I enjoy playing in reserve matches, but obviously it's not the same as playing for the first team.

"It's been a little bit quiet for me over the last 12 months but that happens to a lot of players of my age. When you first come on the scene you are in the limelight and everything is brilliant for you but there is generally going to be a little dip after that, unless your name happens to be Wayne Rooney."

n Ipswich Reserves also get a run out tonight when they face Leicester City's second string at Kettering Town's Rockingham Road. Only Pablo Counago is not a teenager in Steve McCall's young squad.

Ipswich Town Reserves: Supple, Synott, Barron, Mitchell, Collins, Sobers, Flack, Murray, Counago, Clarke, Craig, Garvan, Hammond, Beveridge, Casement, Lordan and Guentchev.

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