Dean's lost that scoring feeling

DEAN Bowditch has lost that goalscoring feeling – and he wants it back.The bubbly Blues striker has found the net just three times for the first team, the latest back in October when he netted at Coventry City.

DEAN Bowditch has lost that goalscoring feeling – and he wants it back.

The bubbly Blues striker has found the net just three times for the first team, the latest back in October when he netted at Coventry City.

And, worst still, he has only hit one in nine appearances for the reserves this season. That was in the win against West Ham back in November.

It has not been for the lack of effort, and his performances overall have been good, but he admits that wonderful sensation of scoring is becoming a distant memory.

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A determined Bowditch said: "I want goals. I hit a post on Monday for the reserves but I want one to go in. I want to get that feeling back.

"In the past three games, I have had chances but I have hit the woodwork, the keeper has made good saves or I have missed the chances. It is just not happening for me at the moment. On other days, I would have had three hat-tricks in a row.

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"I'm doing the work on the training ground but luck needs to be on your side. Like all strikers, I want to be averaging at least one every other game."

Bowditch snatched a hat-trick last March as the Blues romped past Watford at Portman Road, creating Town history as the youngest player to do so. To take his senior tally to nine, he needs to get back in the side, something the England youngster accepts is unlikely to happen, with Shefki Kuqi and Darren Bent in such fine form with 27 goals between them so far.

He said: "This is getting to the nervous part of the season. We are top and we want to stay there but the manager is going to use his best players and, unless there are injuries, I can't see why Shefki and Benty are not going to be playing up front all the time, as they are scoring goals.

"You know they are going to pull something off every game and I wish them all the best every game. When my chance comes, I will do my best."

The 18-year-old continues to attract interest and, while there is no chance of Town selling him, Bowditch admits that, while getting regular first-team football elsewhere has its appeal, he is keen to stay and play his part in Town's Championship title challenge.

He said: "It has crossed my mind to go out on loan so I can get games but, when you are on the bench and likely to come on, then that's different.

"If I wasn't involved in the first-team squad then perhaps I would be thinking about it, but as I'm in among things, I will carry on working hard and looking to get some starts.

"Everyone is battling for place. In training, we are all buzzing and there is a good competitive spirit but, at the same time, we all like each other and want the others to do well."

Blues boss Joe Royle has made no secret of his admiration for the Essex boy, who possesses a multitude of talent and a mature footballing brain.

So much so, that Ipswich handed him a new deal, keeping him at Portman Road until the summer of 2008.

Bowditch, who once rejected the chance to sign for Manchester United, who had tried to lure him to their Academy, had no hesitation in pledging his future to Town once again.

He said: "The contract offer came out of the blue but it is good to get my future sorted and I know I'm going to be at the club until then.

"I'm going to enjoy things and it is nice to know the club really want me, so I need to push on and get more games.

"As soon as the opportunity to sign came, I grabbed it. I love it here and it has never entered my mind to sign for another club."

Bowditch will be on the bench once again when Town go to Sheffield United on Saturday, without fellow striker Pablo Counago, who has already been told he won't be travelling.

New loan signing David Unsworth goes straight into the side, with Danny Karbassiyoon likely to be the one giving way.

If Bowditch doesn't go on and score at Bramall Lane, his next opportunity to end his drought will be against Arsenal Reserves at Portman Road on Monday.

If the run continues he can always try getting on the scoresheet for England Under-19s in Belgium on Wednesday, February 9, after scoring at previous levels for his country.

Bowditch said: "It is always good to go away and meet up with old mates and play for your country, maybe I will score then."

The Blues' final game of the season at Brighton has been confirmed as a 1pm kick-off on Sunday, May 8.

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