Dinning's delight at Town switch

TALK about keen!Tony Dinning took less time than it will take to read this sentence to say 'yes' to Joe Royle's offer of a two-month loan spell at Portman Road, writes Derek Davis.

TALK about keen!

Tony Dinning took less time than it will take to read this sentence to say 'yes' to Joe Royle's offer of a two-month loan spell at Portman Road, writes Derek Davis.

The Wigan midfielder jumped at the opportunity after being frozen out at the JJB Stadium and the only thing which has surprised him was the length of time team-mate Jason De Vos took to decide to sign for Ipswich - a full half-hour.

Dinning (pictured below) is expected to make his Blues debut at Nottingham Forest tonight and, after sitting in the stands to watch Joe Kinnear's men draw at his old club Wigan on Saturday, is gagging to be playing.


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After falling out with Latics' boss Paul Jewell, Dinning was shipped out to Walsall and Blackpool on loan.

He said: “It is like any job. If someone tells you that you are not as good at it as you were and won't let you do your job then you want to get somewhere else and show what you can do. Nothing against Wigan at all but I still want to play football at a high standard.

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“If you had asked me to pick a club in the First Division to come and try and impress for a contract then Ipswich would be right up there.”

Like De Vos, Dinning was impressed with Ipswich's facilities and reputation, even before he saw things for himself.

Dinning found out on Sunday teatime of Ipswich's interest and a couple of hours later his bags were packed and he was whizzing down the M6 with the EADT breaking the story on Monday morning.

He said: “When Jason first signed I phoned him up to wish him all the best and back then he was raving about how good it was here, with the facilities the people but it is not until you get here that you realise it is actually better.

“He told me it took him half an hour to decide to sign - I can't believe it took him that long, he must have been in the toilet for 25 minutes or something. I decided on the phone there and then.”

The former Stockport County and Wolves midfielder feels this is the big chance he has been waiting for.

The Wallsend-born 29-year-old said: “It is an unbelievable opportunity to kick start my career. I have had some messages from the Wigan lads saying how lucky I am and I totally agree.

“I've got two months to show what I can do and, hopefully, I can make a start against Forest. I feel fit and strong, it is just a case of putting it into practice.”

Dinning saw tonight's opponents Forest at first hand as he sat high in the stands watching them draw 1-1 with Wigan, along with Town chief scout Colin Suggett, who said nothing to him about Town's interest at that point.

He said: “It will be a good attacking game. I saw them play at Wigan on Saturday and Wigan has a couple of dozen chances.”

He will be up against the highly talented Andy Reid, a player he admires.

Dinning said: “He is only 22, yet he plays as if he is 34 - he is so comfortable on the ball. He has a great left foot and will be a danger man.”

The new boy has already bumped into an old mate at the Town training centre, free agent Alun Armstrong, who was getting treatment for an achilles injury.

The duo were trainees at Newcastle United together, coached by Suggett, before both went to Stockport County together.

Dinning played a part in one of the most memorable moments in Town history in December 1999 when he was a Stockport player. The midfielder has a penalty tipped on to the crossbar by Richard Wright. Dinning struck a terrific follow-up but Wright somehow tipped it away to safety.

His effort was subsequently voted the 'Save the Millennium' by Town supporters, in a poll organised by the Britannia Building Society.

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