Big squad must all stay focused, says Jewell

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell has called upon his fringe players to stay on their toes.

It would have been easy for those outside of the starting XI to become disheartened in recent weeks after the Blues boss named an unchanged line-up for six games in succession.

Jewell stopped that run in spectacular fashion for Saturday’s visit of Crystal Palace though, relegating ‘jaded’ first choice strike duo Michael Chopra and Jason Scotland to the bench.

He also hauled off fans’ favourite Jimmy Bullard on the hour mark of the 1-0 defeat, leaving supporters wondering what the selection will be for Saturday’s trip to Millwall.

“No player goes through a season without having a poor game,” said Jewell.

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“Jimmy will never hide on a football pitch, but I just felt it wasn’t his day.

“He’s been a fulcrum of our good run, but no player has got a divine right to be picked or stay on the pitch.

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“With the front two having looked a bit jaded, Jay (Emmanuel-Thomas) and Nathan (Ellington) got their chance and it was probably difficult for them knowing they were probably only in there because the other two were being rested.

“It’s a squad game and we’ve got a lot of players here. I’ve never been one for changing the team too much, but having said that all my players have a part to play – whether that’s while they’re playing or while they’re not playing.

“A successful football club has a focused group of players, not just in the first eleven on a Saturday, but throughout the squad on a Monday to Friday too.”

Jewell currently has over 30 players on professional contracts to choose from. And with Football League clubs now only allowed to include five players on their bench, it inevitably means that plenty miss out on match day.

The likes of Lee Martin, Josh Carson, Daryl Murphy and Mark Kennedy haven’t even been in the matchday 16 of late.

“With seven subs you had players thinking they are going to be in the squad whatever,” said Jewell. “I want people striving to be on the bench, never mind in the team.”

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