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Dozzell Getting Used to Being Marked Man
Friday, 18th Sep 2020 12:38

Andre Dozzell is a marked man this season as opponents look to stifle his influence on how Town play.

The midfielder has caught the eye in a role that has been compared to that of a quarterback in American football, relying as it does on distribution from a deep-lying position.

It didn’t take him long to realise he was being singled out for special attention by the opposition manager, although it has done nothing to suppress his enjoyment at playing regularly.

So far it has been four starts in four games this season for a player who burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old when he marked his senior debut in April 2016 with a goal in a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Dozzell said: “I’m enjoying the fact that I’m playing. I haven’t really played too much like this – consistently – so hopefully I will continue to get the opportunity to show what I can do and carry on from there.

“I’m not a kid any more – I’m 21 – so I have to find a way to get into the team and play regularly. The more games I play, the better I will become.

“It has been frustrating not playing more football since I made my debut as a 16-year-old, but at the end of the day part of that is down to me.

“It’s up to me to play so well that the gaffer doesn’t have any reason to leave me out. I’ll just take it game by game and look to be consistent on a regular basis.”

Opposition sides are wise to what Dozzell has to offer and have opted to put a marker on him in an attempt to prevent him pulling the strings in midfield.

“It’s tough but it’s something that you have to overcome,” the Ipswich-born player added. “I’ve noticed teams are man-marking me and I expect that to continue.

“It’s up to me to deal with it and find a way around it. It’s what you do in the game that counts and talking about it won’t achieve anything unless I can deal with it on the day.

“I suppose it’s a compliment in a way, that the other team see me as some sort of threat, but at the end of the day it’s my job to find a solution.”

Asked about his current role, he continued: “I do enjoy playing there but to be honest I enjoy playing anywhere in midfield. I don’t mind where I’m playing as long as I’m playing.

“That’s what makes me happy, being in the side and playing regularly. I enjoy my current role and it’s different to be there by myself, but as long as I’m playing and showing what I can do I’m happy.

“I can see everything in front of me, the strikers, out wide etc, and I’ve got the range of passing to make it work for me.”

It has been anything but plain sailing for Dozzell, whose father Jason was still a schoolboy when he became the youngest-ever marksman in the top flight with a goal on his Town debut in February 1984 in a home win over Coventry.

Dozzell senior also went on to earn a big-money move to Tottenham, but Andre was quick to dismiss the thought that his surname has been a handicap to him.

He said: “I’ve never thought that was the case. Nobody out there puts more pressure on me than I do myself and I’ve never considered my name to be a burden of any sort.”

There is no doubt, however, that this could be the season where Andre finally establishes himself as a first-team regular. “I’ve had a lot of time to think,” he admitted. “I’m 21 now so it’s definitely time to kick on with my career.

“I made my debut when I was 16 and over the years it doesn’t really feel as if I’ve done much. But you have to put it into context. I had a year out with an injury – a very bad injury.

“There’s also the fact that we have had a lot of good midfielders for the gaffer to choose from and if they were doing well they deserved to be in the side. I did all I could, just keeping my head down and working hard to get into the side.

“I can be even better too. We are only four games into the new season and I can only improve with playing regularly.

“I am looking forward to hopefully being given more opportunities to show what I have to offer and one thing I want to add to my game is scoring. As long as I’m playing and improving I believe the goals will come.

“We’ve had four games in quick succession but physically, to be honest, I’ve loved it. Obviously, during lockdown we had no football so you won’t hear me complaining about how many games we have now that the season is up and running.

“I still have many years and a lot of football ahead of me. This season has started well and I’m just looking forward to playing my part in helping us to get promoted. That’s what everybody wants.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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BlueandTruesince82 added 13:20 - Sep 18
Love it. Finally seeing our young players utilised in a Town shirt.

if we progress we could see a team that has Harry Wright, Woolfie, Dozzell, Downes, Bishop, Ndaba, El Mizouni, Dobra, Nydam, Lankester, Morris, Folami amd Tommy Smith the younger.... thats an entire 11 plus subs.

Have to go up to keep hold of them though.

Still great to seen Dozzell starting ATM.

Default_User added 13:34 - Sep 18
Fookin love that Andre! Keep it up lad, big season for you this year!

grow_our_own added 17:30 - Sep 18
Andrey is a joy to watch when he's in the mood. This time of year he's in his element. Can he do it vs a team of Akinfenwas on a boggy pitch in February? That's the question. League One has a fair few of those.

BlueInBerks added 21:51 - Sep 18
Blue and True, I'd like to think that that was a page out of PM's presentation to Markus and hence the 5 yr contract

BlueInBerks added 00:16 - Sep 19
*PL's presentation...

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