Give me a start - Ambrose

EXCLUSIVEDARREN Ambrose has called on Blues boss Joe Royle to let him off the leash earlier and give him the chance to show what he can do for the full 90 minutes.


DARREN Ambrose has called on Blues boss Joe Royle to let him off the leash earlier and give him the chance to show what he can do for the full 90 minutes.

Teenager Ambrose is not criticising his manager and is trying hard to stay patient but believes he, and fellow teenage sensation Darren Bent, can make even more of an impact by starting games.

Sir Bobby Robson and his Newcastle United chairman Freddie Shepherd were at Valley Parade as Ipswich slumped to a 2-0 defeat, and there will be no prizes for guessing who they were checking on once again.

Although the duo were unable to make a big impact after the Blues were reduced to 10 men following Hermann Hreidarsson's dismissal, Ambrose is convinced their time has come.

He said: "I always want to start. I still trust the manager's decision and I'm ready to come off the bench if needed or to start.

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"We would love the opportunity to start and hopefully that will happen soon and when it does we will be ready and hopefully do enough so we can then keep our places.

"It is good to come off the bench because you are fresh against tired defenders. But I'd like to start because you have a lot more of the game to show what you can do and a lot more of the game to score and set up a few.

"But having said that I still trust the manager and respect his decision and will come off the bench when he wants me to."

Darren Bent replaced Fabian Wilnis at half time at Bradford as Town switched to a more attacking 4-3-3 formation after dominating the first half without seizing the advantage.

Even when Hreidarsson was sent off, Royle showed his attacking intentions by replacing Pablo Counago with Ambrose and then Martijn Reuser for midfielder Jim Magilton and going to a 3-4-2 formation.

While Marcus Bent hit a post in the first half, Darren Bent crashed an effort against the crossbar and Ambrose might have done better with a ball rolled to him by the younger Bent.

Ambrose admitted: "We had a couple of chances to make a difference and perhaps should have scored but overall we are disappointed not to get the victory.

"It wasn't the best of performances by us , but credit to Bradford, they kept at us although we shouldn't have allowed them to score either of the differences.

"The sending off killed us really as we were about to make another substitution and attack them even more, so it was very disappointing."

Buoyed by the red card for Hreidarsson after he caught Simon Francis, Bradford snatched the lead through Claus Jorgensen before 18-year-old debutant Danny Forrest clinched the game.

Although way below par, Town were still clearly the better side and defender Chris Makin had no doubt two decisions swung the game, the sending off and a penalty denied when Mark Bower clearly tripped Marcus Bent.

Makin said: " We were not at our best anyhow but the sending off made all the difference. Bradford did come out brightly in the second half in fairness, but the sending off had a big bearing on the result.

"We dominated the first half but we didn't create chances ,which was disappointing because we are known for creating chances.

"The referee has not given us anything. It was a definite penalty. Everyone in the stadium knew it was except him.

"We have to pick ourselves up for the Sheffield United game, which is massive for us. Luckily enough in football you do get the chance to put things right and pick yourself up.

"Hermann will be a big miss but there are people waiting in the wings for a chance and they will now get that opportunity, it is up to them to take it."

That could mean more playing time for another impressive 18-year-old as Matt Richards looks to fill the defensive gap, or Ambrose getting his much-desired starting spot.

ONLY an outstanding piece of manouvering by Paul the Ipswich Town coach driver ensured the team arrived safely to Bradford.

During their journey to Yorkshire on Friday during the worst of the snow storms, a car spun on the ice and it looked as if the coach would not be able to avoid crushing the vehicle with a man and woman inside, before Paul took evasive action.

A Town insider said: "It was an excellent piece of driving, things could have been far worse but for Paul."

The car struck the coach a glancing blow and both vehicles suffered some bodywork damage but no-one was hurt.

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