Ipswich Town youngsters can emulate likes of Howson and Delph, says Jonathan Douglas

Ipswich Town youngster James Blanchfield.

Ipswich Town youngster James Blanchfield. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town midfielder Jonathan Douglas has seen enough in the Blues’ best young talent to suggest they could soon become established figures at Portman Road.

Teddy Bishop (20) has already become an important part of the first-team, while Andre Dozzell scored on his debut as a 16-year-old at Sheffield Wednesday last season.

Nineteen-year-old Adam McDonnell, meanwhile, impressed on his full debut at Derby in May, while James Blanchfield – an 18-year-old midfielder – is also in manager Mick McCarthy’s plans.

Douglas played with current Manchester City and England midfielder Fabian Delph as well as Norwich man Jonny Howson, during his time at Leeds – the duo being hot property despite their tender years – and sees similarities in Town’s current crop of starlets.

“I don’t think our lads are too far away from the likes of Fabian Delph and Jonny Howson, and it’s great to see them apply themselves in the right way,” said Douglas.

“I had mentors when I was young. Craig Short, Garry Flitcroft and Andy Cole all had a big influence on me when I was a kid coming through at Blackburn.

“They were all legends in the game and players to look up to, so for them to come in, put their arm round you and explain what it takes to play at a good level was great.”

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Douglas has seen plenty of youngsters fall by the wayside during his career, but thinks Town’s youth talent have the right mindset to thrive in the Championship.

“I think they’ve all got massive futures ahead of them. Not only do they have the talent, they also get their heads down and work hard as well,” Douglas added.

“I think that’s the most important thing because I’ve seen a lot of young lads with a lot of talent during my career and they haven’t really pushed on the way they should have done because of their attitude.

“But the boys we’re talking about, I think their attitude is spot-on and I can see them all doing well.

“If they ask me questions I’m always happy to help. I’ve been privileged enough to have played alongside good young midfielders at my previous clubs who went on to better things.”