‘It’s great experience for them... they will only benefit’ - Dyer’s pride as Town youngsters progress
- Credit: Archant
Former Ipswich Town star Kieron Dyer has said he is not surprised by the emergence of young talent in the Blues squad.
Dyer, who has left Portman Road now, but was joint manager of the U18s last season alongside Adem Atay, has worked closely with many of the young players who are now pushing for a place in Paul Lambert's first-team squad - the latest to shine being Armando Dobra, who scored at Luton in the Carabao Cup, then set up both Town goals as the Blues beat a Spurs U21 side in the EFL Trophy.
It's satisfying for Dyer to watch as Lambert continues to give young players at Portman Road a chance.
Dyer, a former England international, who won 33 caps, gave his assessment of some of the players coming through.
"Last season we had a good group of players. It was never about the results, although we were doing well, but all about their development," Dyer said.
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"It was just a good group who were taking care of themselves. I certainly won't take credit, we just helped coach them.
"The likes of Dobra, Bailey Clements, Idris El Mizouni, Kai Brown, Tyreece Simpson, I'm not surprised to see them pushing on.
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"Dobra is a complete live-wire and does the sort of things at times, quite honestly you can't coach. It's a natural gift. He has played wide, but I think he is better in the middle.
"El Mizouni is another talent and I'd have him in the squad every week, coming off the bench, even starting. He can score goals, do the nasty side and create.
"Bailey (Clements) has a brilliant football brain. Perhaps he needs a bit more of the physical side but when that develops, give him a bit of time, he's got a great chance. Maybe as a centre-back in the future.
"Tyreece Simpson has come from mostly a rugby background and he was a bit rough around the edges when he started. But he has come on so much, is as strong as an ox and quick."
With their EFL Trophy campaign getting off to a winning start against Spurs U21s, Dyer hopes there will be plenty more games ahead for the Blues young players to get extra first-team game time.
"With the amount of fixtures this season it would be really great for these young players to get more first-team time," Dyer added.
"It's great experience for them, they will only benefit. Who knows, a trip to Wembley maybe?"
And Dyer is also buoyed by the start to the League One season Lambert's team have made.
"I'll be honest, I don't think it's that great a league we are in," he said.
"With the squad we have we can win it, or certainly get automatic promotion.
"The likes of Emyr Huws, Andre Dozzell and Teddy Bishop haven't got going yet. Freddie Sears is still to come back. That's a strong squad."