Attack is best form of defence for Ipswich

IPSWICH Town manager will stick with two up front for tonight’s trip to Championship promotion favourites West Ham.

With Michael Chopra having looked isolated as the lone striker in an inconsistent start to the season, Jewell has switched to a narrow 4-4-2 diamond system in recent weeks with Jason Scotland introduced to the forward line.

The result has been a 3-0 home win over Coventry and an impressive 0-0 draw at Middlebsrough.

“I think we are a little bit open the way we are playing at the moment with the two full-backs looking to get forward,” said Jewell.

“But I think we’ve found the system which best suits the personnel we have at present.

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“Jimmy Bullard, Lee Bowyer, Grant Leadbitter – we haven’t got a defensive midfield player in there if we are being honest.

“We are not a team that can sit back and soak up pressure as a group, we are better on the front foot trying to pressure the opposition.”

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Looking ahead to tonight’s game at Upton Park, he continued: “There are no games in this league that are easy, but at the same time there are none that you go into thinking you can’t win either.

“It’s going to be tough because they’ve got a top class manager and arguably the best team in the division – I think Big Sam (Allardyce) is the only man who could have persuaded Kevin Nolan to drop down to the Championship – but our job is to go there and make the atmosphere as quiet and as edgy as possible.

“We are not the biggest team in the world and we will be up against a team that is probably physically stronger than us. We will need to make sure we stand up to those physical battles and make it as difficult for them as possible.”

Ipswich midfielders Jimmy Bullard and Lee Bowyer were both born and raised in East London and have spent time at West Ham.

Bowyer had two spells at the Hammers and part of the reason he chose to sign for Ipswich rather than Leeds this summer was to be nearer his roots.

Bullard started his professional career at Upton Park after Harry Redknapp signed the then painter and decorator from non-league side Gravesend & Northfleet aged 20.

He failed to make a first team appearance for the team he grew up supporting, but it acted as a launch pad for his career.

“It was my boyhood dream to play for the club that I support,” said Bullard. “My bedroom was claret and blue and when I signed they had players like Frank Lampard and Rio (Ferdinand). I signed on the same day as Paolo Di Canio and Marc-Vivien Foe.

“I didn’t break through but I learnt my trade there. I had three tough years and training with them day-in, day-out I learnt a lot.

“It is a great club but I won’t be supporting them tonight. I play for Ipswich and hopefully we are going to get three points.”

– You can get interactive coverage of West Ham v Ipswich Town this evening by logging on to from 7.15pm. ITFC writers Stuart Watson and Dave Gooderham will be providing updates.

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