No more fear factor for Dean

DEAN Bowditch has admitted how fear affected his game last season under old manager Joe Royle and how he was feeling more confident and relaxed under new manager Jim Magilton.

By Derek Davis

DEAN Bowditch has admitted how fear affected his game last season under old manager Joe Royle and how he was feeling more confident and relaxed under new manager Jim Magilton.

Bowditch played alongside Nicky Forster for the first 45 minutes of the 1-1 draw at Boston and, even though he didn't score, the 19-year-old showed flashes of his old self.

He said: “It is a new start for everyone and for me personally I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I feel more relaxed and I was not frightened to get the ball. I touched the ball more times in this 45 minutes than I did all last season when I was a bit scared.

“The gaffer has sat me down and told me to be myself. He has total belief in me and I felt for my first game back I did well and can progress from here.”

Bowditch also played in the 5-2 win at Boston last year, and scored, but now admits it was always playing on his mind that he would be sent out on loan.

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Eventually that is what happened, when he joined Wycombe Wanderers for a spell.

Bowditch said: “Last year I was not comfortable from the start and was not myself. Whether it was in my head subconsciously or me just not playing as well as I could.

“This season is totally different now. We all have a clean slate and the mentality of the team is great. We will look at what we did well but also what we did wrong.”

The former Academy graduate has put his new happier frame of mind down to the new regime, with Bryan Klug, Steve Foley and Magilton all helping him and the squad.

He said: “There is a totally different mentality here now.

“Over the few weeks Jim has been in charge you can feel the difference and things have got better and better.

“The new gaffer wanted us to get the ball down and play and you saw flashes of brilliance from everyone. Unfortunately, we couldn't stick the ball in the net, although I could have had a hat-trick.

“Fossie (Nicky Forster) could have had a couple and even Eugen (Bopp) might have hit a couple. Last year they went in for us, maybe more luck, whereas this time we could have been four up by half-time.

“We got caught a couple of times going forward but Jim didn't mind that because we were getting the ball down and playing. That is the different mentality. Playing good football is what we are all about now.”

The Blues are now preparing for a trip to Ireland, where they will play First Division side Galway United on Wednesday, and Bowditch is confident Town will continue to improve.

He said: “We have the first game under out belt and now we are looking forward to Galway. We will be that bit fitter and that bit stronger and look to play better.”

The former young England international also revealed he wanted Italy to win the World Cup last night.

Bowditch, whose paternal grandmother was Italian, said: “You would not think I'm quarter Italian but I am. I wanted them to win it as soon as England went out.

“As a striker, I would have hated to play against someone like Cannavaro. Jason De Vos believes he is best defender in world. As a striker I would love to play at that level but to play against him would be hard.”

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