Lambert: Dozzell and Downes Could Be Driving Force in Town Midfield For Next Few Years
Friday, 29th Jan 2021 11:28
Blues manager Paul Lambert hopes midfield pair Flynn Downes and Andre Dozzell will be the driving force in the Town engine room for the next few years.
The duo have been playing alongside one another - as well as the likes of Luke Woolfenden, Jack Lankester, Tristan Nydam, Ben Morris and Brett McGavin - since they were academy schoolboys and are now key men in the first team squad.
Dozzell, 21, has played more regularly this season than in any previous campaign, while Downes, 22, recently returned to the team after a knee injury.
Asked how much Dozzell has impressed him this season, Lambert said: “I think for himself rather than anything else, he’s been great. I think he’s getting better and better.
“I think he’s getting the ugly side of the game into his body, I think that was lacking in his game, where he needed that little streak of nastiness in him to be a top, top midfielder. In his last few games, he’s certainly got that.
“Would I have played him in as many games if Cole [Skuse] was fit? I’m not so sure, just to give him a little break at certain times, but over the piece I think he’s been fantastic for us.”
Lambert is delighted Downes is back, his injury having come soon after he had asked to be left out as his head wasn’t in the right place due to interest from Premier League Crystal Palace.
“He had his downs at the start of the season with the Crystal Palace thing, then he got his injury in his knee,” Lambert continued.
“One thing you get with Flynn is incredible endeavour, incredible honesty. Everything as a manager you want to see in a footballer, he’s got it. He’s got everything there for him to go on and do really well.
“And hopefully he keeps sustaining what he’s doing because he’s a really good player and he’s got a great thing, enthusiasm, which you can never give to anybody, he’s got that in abundance.”
Could they be a driving force in the Blues’ midfield for the next few years? “I hope so because you’ve got really good players there. You’ve got great endeavour and enthusiasm.
“Two different types of players which will complement each other and two very, very good young footballers, very good.
“If we can keep Teddy Bishop fit as well, he’s had little problems since he’s come back, we need to just watch him, but if he can get back to the level he was before he got injured, we’ve got three really good young ones there that can be there for many seasons.”
Photos: Matchday Images
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