Dean keen to prove he can hit the target

IF scoring goals in the Championship was not hard enough, Blues wannabe striker Dean McDonald is finding it tough to convince manager Joe Royle that he is capable of doing just that.

By Derek Davis

IF scoring goals in the Championship was not hard enough, Blues wannabe striker Dean McDonald is finding it tough to convince manager Joe Royle that he is capable of doing just that.

The diminutive, but powerfully built forward, with an amazing array of tricks and twists, has only managed one senior goal since making his league debut last August at home to Sheffield Wednesday - and that was while on loan at Hartlepool in January.

So the former Arsenal trainee knows that the Blues boss still needs something tangible from him before he will let him have his head up front alongside Alan Lee.

McDonald said: “It is a hard job to convince him that I can be a striker. I feel my overall play has been fine but I have been lacking goals. What I need is games and then to score in those games.

“Adjusting my position to wide is not going to come overnight but I will keep working on it.

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“Working with Alan Lee can only help. He has shown what a good player he is and we can work together.

“Different mangers have different opinions on players, and what they want the to do, and it is up to me to show the gaffer.”

Hitting the back of the net more often would help but first McDonald needs to get in the side and he is hoping to get some game time at Crewe tonight.

He said: “I'm looking to get my first Ipswich goal. As a striker the burden is always on us to score goal, and that is what we are judged on, but as team we have been scoring.

“But it is we strikers who like scoring goals and that is why we are there.

“I would like to be involved in the game and just be a part of it. Whether that is creating or looking to score, I'm always looking to be a part of it.”

The forward, who will be 20 on Sunday, hit the heights with Hartlepool while on loan, so much so they offered £85,000 to take him on a permanent basis but the offer was rejected and the manager, Martin Scott, has since left Victoria Park.

Hopes that his good form would see him into the Blues side have not materialised, as Town have enjoyed an unbeaten seven-match run.

He said: “It has been disappointing since coming back but the team has been playing very well so it is hard to force my way into the starting line-up but I shall keep trying to do just that.

“Hartlepool made the offer but it wasn't accepted. I'm not sure of all the ins and outs of what happened with Martin Scott leaving Hartlepool but I was always happy to stay here.

“I'm out of contract in the summer so it is up to me to carry on putting in the hard work to show I'm worth at least another deal here. It is a great club and I'm sure I can progress here.”

McDonald was on the bench when Town beat Crewe 2-1 earlier in the season and is hoping to be a bit more involved tonight as Town look for their second double of the season.

He said: “We will go to Crewe showing them respect but we will also be going there looking for all three points.”

McDonald is one of a number of players who is out of contract in the summer but has not yet heard of he is going to be offered a new deal.

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