Dyche challenges Town

By Derek DavisChief Football WriterSEAN Dyche has challenged Ipswich to live up to their reputation and get back into the Premiership.The Watford defender is hoping Town's indifferent start to the season continues, even though the Hornets are second bottom and struggling.

By Derek Davis

Chief Football Writer

SEAN Dyche has challenged Ipswich to live up to their reputation and get back into the Premiership.

The Watford defender is hoping Town's indifferent start to the season continues, even though the Hornets are second bottom and struggling.


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Town doubled Watford last season but Dyche believes the side which finished fifth three seasons ago are still trying to come to terms with life in the lower reaches.

He said: “The Premiership is a huge step but this is no easy league either. Teams are very serious about what they do in every division - and I've played in them all - it is not a case of teams running away with it.

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“Ipswich are a good side with excellent players yet they found it really difficult to conquer Division One last year after they came down and have had an awkward start this season.

“It is a topsy-turvy division and we need to work hard to get in the shake up. In theory Ipswich are fancied to do well, but have had a poor start, and hopefully that will continue on Saturday.”

Like all his team-mates, Dyche has had to take a 12 per cent pay deferral since last season and it is still biting into his wage packet.

But the former Millwall, Luton, Bristol City, Chesterfield and Nottingham Forest defender is still more concerned about actually playing, after missing out for part of last season with a broken toe.

He will be joined in the heart of the defence by Neil Cox as they look to keep their first clean sheet in eight games.

Behind him is Alec Chamberlain, the former Ipswich Town and Colchester United keeper, who is approaching 800 appearances.

With Paul Devlin about to start a suspension, and Neil Ardley returning from one, Ray Lewington has his first-choice midfield. But it is up front where his concerns lie and the lack of confidence Bruce Dyer is showing may make him consider dropping the striker to the bench and using Scott Fitzgerald who is showing form.

Former Manchester United striker Danny Webber has also dried up in front of goal after going on a scoring spree when he initially joined on loan.

Defender Wayne Brown's honeymoon period did not last long either after being hailed as a virtual saviour when he first joined from Ipswich Town last season, he has now been shunted off to Gillingham for a month's loan.

His departure, and the sale of Tommy Smith to Sunderland, has allowed Lewington to bring in Stephen Kelly from Spurs to add height to his defence.

The Hornets are looking to add to the squad even more after losing influential Heidur Helguson to a three-month injury.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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