Old boy seeking to give Town a Hammer blow

IPSWICH TOWN: Local boy made good Kieron Dyer will help to give the Blues a severe test when Premier League West Ham visit Portman Road for a friendly tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

Dyer, 31, is set to start for the Hammers looking to make an impact this term after a number of injury-ravished seasons.

Raised just a goal kick away from Portman Road, Dyer has already come through 45 minutes of action three times with the Hammers this pre-season.

West Ham manager Avram Grant is planning to send a strong team to Suffolk with the presence of the likes of Scott Parker and Carlton Cole giving Town a tough test.

The Londoners rested a number of players in a victory at MK Dons on Wednesday, but most of the first-team squad are due to be involved tomorrow.

Dyer was a product of the Town academy and he made a big hit as a teenager before being sold to Newcastle in July 1999 for �6million.

Income from the former England international’s transfer helped George Burley build a side that won promotion to the Premier League the following year.

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Keane is also set to play his strongest XI to give fans an indication of the side he plans to field at Middlesbrough when the Championship season starts tomorrow week.

David Norris is expected to be available to face the Hammers after suffering a back problem with Jon Walters and Tamas Priskin the likely front runners and Luke Hyam pulling the strings in front of the back four.

Town fans will get their first sight of new signing Mark Kennedy at left back, while Conor Hourihan, who was signed from Sunderland last month, could get a midfield berth.

“Conor has a good attitude and has a chance to become a player,” said Keane.

“We were short of players and started with him at Leiston and Bury on consecutive nights, which was a bit unfair on him.

“But when I was his age I would have played every night and he did well.

“You can’t beat young energy and along with Reggie Lambe and a couple of others he has supplied that this week.

“Sometimes your hand is forced into using youngsters – and it can turn out to the best thing that could happen.”

Grant is expected to play 4-5-1 this season and he said: “Our first target was to get the players familiar to the system that we are going to play.

“It is about stepping it up now. In three weeks we will play Aston Villa, so we will work on tactics and the style of the team.”

Despite the absence of international players as well as new signings Pablo Barrera and Frederick Piquionne, Grant has been working hard on his formation, using Cole as the pivot in an attack that has also comprised, Freddie Sears, Luis Boa Morte, Dyer, Cristian Montano, Anthony Edgar and Julien Faubert.

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