BIG MATCH PREVIEW: No witch-hunt but Town face trial by TV
PAUL Jewell has called for an instant response as his under-pressure Ipswich Town side prepare to take on Peterborough – in front of the Sky cameras – tonight at London Road (5.20pm ko).
Fresh from the 5-2 home defeat by Southampton on Tuesday night, Jewell has demanded defensive improvements from his whole team against a Peterborough side who have made a promising start to life in the Championship.
Jewell yesterday came out and defended his under pressure back four stating: “I think we could do better. Damien (Delaney) and Tommy (Smith) are both international players.
“But I don’t want this to be a witch-hunt about central defenders. Some of the things that went on in front of the back four on Tuesday night wasn’t great. We defend as a team and attack as a team.
“There is a lot of work to do and it’s been our Achilles heel ever since I have been here.”
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The Town boss will consider rookie defender Jack Ainsley as an option but the impression he gave at the pre-match press conference was that he might give Smith and Delaney one more chance.
The manager said: “I am looking for a positive reaction. We have to go there and try and put Tuesday night’s horrendous result out of our minds. We know we have taken a beating at home. But we have another game to look forward to – that is the beauty of football.”
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Then there is the midfield dilemmas. Assuming, as is likely, the manager reverts back to the 4-3-3/4-5-1 formation that was so successful against Bristol City on the opening day, Michael Chopra should be again flanked by Lee Martin and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.
The midfield trio is likely to be made up of three from Grant Leadbitter, Lee Bowyer, Keith Andrews and Mark Kennedy and it might be the latter who is dropped to the bench.
The likes of Andy Drury, Luke Hyam and Nathan Ellington will also hope to figure.
Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson must decide whether to throw Paul Taylor in from the start after the striker came off the bench to rescue a 2-2 draw against Millwall on Wednesday night.
Lee Tomlin and David Ball started the match at the New Den but Taylor came on for the latter with Posh 2-0 down and proceeded to set up a goal before scoring a dramatic equaliser.
Nick Ajose and Gaby Zakuani remain doubts while new loan signing Ben Gordon is in the squad but the Chelsea left-back might have to be content with a place on the bench following the impressive performances of Craig Alcock.
Jewell said: “I saw them the other night against Millwall when they came back from 2-0 down. Darren has done well there, they are a good footballing team and it will be a tough game.
“We’re getting punished every time we make an error, whether it be in defence or a chance we miss. You have to try and cut out the basic errors and if we do that, we’ll be alright.”
Ipswich Town - Stockdale, Edwards, Delaney, Smith, Cresswell, Martin, Bowyer, Andrews, Leadbitter, Emmanuel-Thomas, Chopra, Lee-Barrett, Ainsley, Kennedy, Ellington, Carson, Scotland, Healy, Hyam
Peterborough - Jones, Little, Bennett, Wootton, Alcock, Frecklington, McCann, Rowe, Boyd, Tomlin, Taylor, Day, Basey, Thompson, Tunnicliffe, Ball, Gordon, Zakuani, Ajose