‘Dad’s Army’ duo prepare to do battle

MASTER and apprentice of the ‘Dad’s Army’ philosophy go head-to-head at Portman Road today.

Following back-to-back Championship defeats, Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell’s ageing side has been criticised for not having enough pace of late.

Yet this afternoon they are likely to be the younger outfit as they come up against Dean Saunders’ rock-bottom Doncaster Rovers – the Welshman a member of Jewell’s original group of veterans.

“He was another older player that I added to that Bradford team of mine everyone called ‘Dad’s Army’,” said Jewell, who signed the former Derby, Liverpool and Aston Villa striker on a free transfer from Benfica – aged 36 – following his side’s promotion to the top-flight in 1999.

Saunders hung up his boots following relegation that season, but started learning his coaching trade under Jewell – and it appears as though his former bosses’ penchant for experience has rubbed off on him.

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While the average age of the Blues side is likely to drop significantly today with the return of Aaron Cresswell at left-back and the possible inclusion of the likes of Josh Carson and/or Lee Martin, Doncaster – with the likes of Neil Sullivan (41), Richard Naylor (34), Pascal Chimbonda (32) and El Hadji Diouf (30) in their side – could well have an average age of over 30.

“Dean is an enthusiastic, bubbly character and one of the best story tellers in the game, but don’t let that joking side of him fool you,” warned Jewell.

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“He’s got a fierce will to win as a player and he’ll bring those same qualities to management.

“He knows he’s got a challenge on his hands at Doncaster but he’ll meet it head on because there’s not a negative bone in his body.”

– For teams news, reports and reaction, keep an eye on this website. Follow @Stuart_Watson and @davegoods on Twitter for live match updates.

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