Current squad IS strong enough - Jewell

IPSWICH Town don’t have to sign new players, just to stay in the Championship.

IPSWICH Town don’t have to sign new players, just to stay in the Championship.

New boss Paul Jewell confirmed yesterday that he has made enquiries about strengthening his squad during this month’s transfer window, with Blackburn defender Pascal Chimbonda one of those on his radar.

But he is adamant that the current squad is up to the task of fending off relegation.

Town supporters will be expecting a few new recruits, as is usually the case when a new manager arrives, and that will probably be the case over the next 10 days.

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And Chimbonda could be in the frame, after his club Blackburn cancelled his contract with immediate effect last night.

QPR were already reported to have lodged a bid of �500,000 for the Frenchman, although a fee would no longer be necessary given that he is now a free agent.

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Panic-buying is certainly not on Jewell’s agenda.

“If you said to me you can’t sign anybody from now until the end of the season, I still think there’s enough here,” insisted Jewell.

“I’ve got faith in the players we’ve got, although like at any club, sometimes you need the impetus of a few new players.

“I’m not daft, I know we are in a dog-fight, but I’m more than confident that these players can get out of it, after which we can look forward to happier times looking up, rather than down.

“We’ve got a fight to get out of it, but we mustn’t panic. We’ve got good players here,” added Jewell.

Speaking about his interest in Chimbonda, a player he signed (in 2005) when he was the manager of Wigan, Jewell revealed:

“I spoke to Steve Kean (Blackburn manager), about a couple of things, and Pascal’s name did come up in conversation.

“But to say that we made an offer of �500,000 is complete nonsense. I just asked about his general availability, no more than that.

“I asked him (Kean) what his (Chimbonda’s) situation was – and he said he would think about it.

“I signed Pascal from France, in Wigan’s first year or second year in the Premiership.

“I know him well, but I don’t like to comment on speculation.”

Chimbonda, 31, began his career in France with Le Havre, but later moved to England to play for Jewell’s Wigan (2005-06), Tottenham, Sunderland and most recently Blackburn.

Meanwhile, Jewell also revealed that he is not planning a mass clear-out at Portman Road, despite the team’s failings this season.

No fewer than 21 players are out of contract this summer, a far from ideal situation, but at the moment Jewell is giving everyone a chance to shine in his new regime.

“There might well be players leaving, I don’t know, but from what I’ve seen so far I’m not in a rush to move anybody on,” confirmed Jewell.

“We’re looking to improve our squad, which is what I’m doing. We’ve made a few enquiries, but I’m not looking to get anyone out at the moment.

“I’m not saying that we are going to rip the squad up. I’m just trying to add a couple of faces.”

Jewell did not take over the managerial reins until after Town’s superb 1-0 win over Arsenal in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final. So tomorrow’s game against visiting Doncaster Rovers will be Jewell’s first home match in charge.

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