BIG MATCH PREVIEW: We want to do laps of honour rather than a ‘lap of appreciation’
PAUL Jewell and his Ipswich Town side will today continue with tradition and carry out a post-match lap applauding the efforts of the Super Blues this season.
But while praising the patience shown by fans during this incredibly topsy-turvy season, there will be nothing honourable about Town’s lap of ‘honour’ at their last home of the season against Millwall (3pm ko).
With Town 15th and struggling to break into the top half of the Championship in the remaining two matches of the season, Jewell is right to describe it as simply a “lap of appreciation”.
He said: “It is a time, as a club, where we can show our appreciation to the supporters.
“It is not a lap of honour, it is a lap of appreciation for the supporters who witnessed some really bad performances, but also some good ones.
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“We have given them bits of hope but then we have taken it away – for about the 10th year on the bounce.
“We want to be having laps of honour rather than laps of appreciation.”
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Jewell is likely to have made his mind up about whether to include 16-year-old midfielder Byron Lawrence on the five-man bench, saying yesterday he would have to sleep on the decision.
Luke Hyam (thigh) is definitely out while a late decision is expected on Lee Martin (groin), Jay Emmanuel-Thomas stands by to replace him after his off-the-bench heroics against Birmingham on Tuesday night.
Jewell is hoping to give fans a repeat showing, saying: “Lets hope it is a decent game for the supporters.
“The other night was a terrific advert for the Championship and hopefully with the two teams under no pressure, both sides can go out and play attractive football.
“Millwall have done well. They were in a relegation fight but they have really got themselves out of it.
“It is always a hard game against them. They beat us comfortably down there, but we are at home and we want to take the game to them.”
The match will come too soon for Richard Wright and Jimmy Bullard although the pair did some light training yesterday, while Town fans expecting to see a wave of youngsters in the 16-man squad will probably be disappointed.
Jewell is likely to only turn to Lawrence, Josh Carson and maybe Jack Ainsley for the departing Ibrahima Sonko.
He explained: “No disrespect, we haven’t got that many bursting through to the first team. I will play what is the best team, on any given day, to win the match.”
Millwall boss Kenny Jackett is fully aware of the threat posed by today’s hosts.
He said: “It is the last home game for Ipswich and that is always a big thing for most clubs. They have had a good second half of the season and will want to finish strongly.
“They have got some strong players like Lee Martin, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Daryl Murphy – I like Aaron Cresswell as well.”
Millwall are likely to keep with potent front pair Harry Kane and Andy Keogh with top scorer Darius Henderson returning to the bench while former Town midfielder Liam Trotter is also pushing for a recall.