Bullard loss a huge blow admits Jewell

IPSWICH Town, minus Jimmy Bullard, looked a pale shadow of the side that had beaten Cardiff just three days earlier as they were humbled by in-form Reading on home turf.

Ipswich Town 1 Reading 3

IPSWICH Town, minus Jimmy Bullard, looked a pale shadow of the side that had beaten Cardiff just three days earlier as they were humbled by in-form Reading on home turf.

Star man Bullard, who had bagged both goals in that 2-0 win in South Wales, failed a fitness test on a tight hamstring.

The Hull City loanee was sorely missed as an early goal from Shane Long, followed by a wonderful late free-kick by Ian Harte and a 90th minute goal from Noel Hunt, swept aside sorry Town.


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Even an injury-time strike from Connor Wickham could do little for Town manager Paul Jewell’s mood after what was his team’s poorest performance since he came to the club two months ago.

“Losing Jimmy Bullard was obviously a huge loss to us,” admitted Jewell.

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“But there was just no spark in the team. We were second to every ball, and we never really put any pressure on Reading’s goal.

“It was so flat, it was unbelievable. And I’m at a loss to explain it.

“The one thing we have had in most of the games is endeavour, but we had no endeavour tonight. We looked flat, we looked leggy and we looked tired. Reading were better than us in all areas and we were soundly beaten,” added Jewell.

With reference to Bullard’s injury, Jewell revealed: “Jimmy has a hamstring injury. He had a fitness test in the morning and we were quite hopeful he would come through. “It was a bit tight after the Cardiff game on Saturday, and he could feel it after a 60% run in the fitness test. You just can’t play with a sore hamstring.

“That was a disappointment to lose Jimmy, but we’ve got to do better than what we did do tonight.

“Yet that’s why we are where we are in the league,” added Jewell.

To add to Town’s woes, skipper David Norris picked up his 10th booking late on and so now faces a two-match suspension, starting at Leeds on Saturday.

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