‘We need to find his main strengths... but he’s such a good footballer’ - Dozzell still searching for football identity
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert believes Andre Dozzell will be ‘a really good player’ - once he works out what kind of player he is.
The homegrown midfielder has struggled for game time this season, with the 1-0 victory at Gillingham on Saturday just his second league start of the season.
The 20-year-old played a key role in the 25-pass move which led to Kane Vincent-Young's winning goal, as he once again showed flashes of his undoubted ability, but he has struggled to fully exert himself on games on a consistent basis.
Lambert is an admirer of Dozzell's talent but admitted the young England international, as well as he and his coaching staff, still have work to do when it comes to determining his role in the team.
"I thought he did well, given he's not played for a long time," Lambert said.
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"His pass for the goal, the move for the goal, was the catalyst for it I thought because he's the one who changed the pace of the ball at that time.
"He's not played that much but he's a big talent, Andre Dozzell, he really is. We just have to get the balance of what his main, main strength is.
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"If we get that then he's a really good player. But it's about what his main strength is and whether that's scoring goals, assisting goals or being a playmaker. I think he's in between that at the minute because he's such a good footballer.
"So it's getting that final thing from him to see where he is. But he's only a kid, he only a young boy and he'll settle into something where he will be really good."
Dozzell scored on his professional debut as a 16-year-old at Sheffield Wednesday in April 2016 but has only made 35 appearances since, largely due to a nasty knee ligament injury which wiped out his 2017/18 campaign and heavily impacted the first half of last season.
In the meantime the likes of Flynn Downes and Luke Woolfenden have taken their first steps in the professional game and have both passed the 50-appearance marker, in part due to League Two loan spells at Luton and Swindon respectively.
"Andre was out for a length of time which might have stopped him going out on loan when he might have done, so his game time is not as high as Wolfy (Luke Woolfenden) and players like that," Lambert continued.
"Andre's a really big talent and when I play him I have absolutely no fear about what I'm going to get from him."