ALAN Judge can be a driving force behind Ipswich Town's push for promotion back to the Championship.

That's the view of former team-mate and Colchester United legend Karl Duguid.

The pair got to know each other when they were together at Plymouth Argyle.

Duguid enjoyed three years with the Devon club while a young Judge, hungry to impress, spent a season and a half there on loan from Blackburn Rovers.

He grabbed his opportunity and was a regular for the Pilgrims, managed by ex-Southend United boss Paul Sturrock, scoring the first senior goal of his career and then, the following year, blasting his first-ever brace with a double against Reading.

Duguid was mightily impressed and expects the talismanic Irishman, who impressed on loan during the second half of last season and signed a two-year deal at Portman Road in April, to be a key figure in Paul Lambert's Ipswich side.

“Alan’s a great guy with a brilliant personality," he told the Gazette.

“He was only a young lad when I was with him but I could see what a very good footballer he was.

“He’s great on the ball, always wants it and gets frustrated when he’s not seeing enough of the play, which is a good thing.

“He was on the verge of a big move before breaking his leg but he’s come back from that and wants to prove himself.

“He’s strong character on and off the pitch and he’ll be a real asset to Ipswich.

“He’s someone who just enjoys playing football.

"He needs a bit of a free role and some might even class him as a bit of a luxury player.

“But he makes things happen, creates goals and scores them.

“He’s always busy and isn’t the sort to drift in and out of games. He's always heavily involved."

Following last season's relegation, Town will play League One football for the first time in 62 years in 2019/20.

Paul Lambert's side will be hoping to bounce back at the first attempt but it certainly won't be easy, according to Duguid.

The Heybridge Swifts assistant boss spent much of his career in League One, with the U's.

“Paul is someone I know lots about, although I didn’t play under him at Colchester," said the 41-year-old, who made over 400 appearances for the Essex side and was inducted into Colchester's Hall of Fame in January 2016.

“He’ll want to finish as high as possible but it certainly won’t be easy, because it’s such a tough league.

“I know it well and there’s a lot of football in League One.

“You play week in, week out, usually twice a week, and you’ve got to be prepared to mix it up and play different ways.

"You can’t just pass your way out of the division.

“With all due respect, you might go from playing Sunderland to Lincoln.

"They're very example of two very different teams with contrasting styles and you have to be prepared for that.”