'Ipswich Town in League One should be on the front foot' - Jeffers wants to get Blues firing

Francis Jeffers is back with Ipswich Town as first-team coach

Francis Jeffers is back with Ipswich Town as first-team coach - Credit: ITFC

New Ipswich Town coach Francis Jeffers is in no doubt as to the area in which he wants to help get the Blues firing - putting the ball in the net.

The former Everton and Arsenal striker, who scored four goals in nine games while on loan at Town back in 2007, joined Paul Cook's coaching staff last week, having worked as a coach in the Toffees' under 23 set-up.

And the former Premier League hitman, who signed for Arsenal for £8m in 2001, says Town's struggles in front of goal are something that has to change.

The anaemic Blues managed just 46 goals last season, the third-worst total in League One.

Asked in an interview with the club if Cook's front foot approach was music to his ears, the 40-year-old said:  "I think it's got to be, as a young coach.

"You want to be on the front foot, and Ipswich Town in League One should be on the front foot.

"It's a massive football club and it shouldn't be in League One, but we're here and we've got to do what it takes to get out of this league."

Francis Jeffers celebrates his goal at Hull

Francis Jeffers scored four goals in nine games on loan at Town in 2007

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He added: "(Scoring goals) is an area we've got to improve. We've got some top strikers here.

"You look at Norwood, he's got goals everywhere he's been. He hasn't done too bad this season, he's had a few injuries here and there.

"We've got real talent here, it's just about putting it together and getting it right on the pitch.

"It's not just for me as an ex-striker to come down here and do that, it's for everyone.

"We've got to score more goals and we've got to get people in the building who can help us do that."

Asked what he'd learned at Everton, Jeffers said: "It's about making people happy, getting people playing for you, it's about creating an enjoyable environment - all of them things you pick up at Everton, learning off the likes of David Unsworth and John Ebrell, who are much more experienced than me.

"The manager there now, Carlo Ancelotti, needs no introduction and it goes without saying what a great manager he's been.

"You see how he handles the day to day stuff, the way he gets his dressing room, the way he makes players happy, I think that was the big thing I picked up."

Jeffers admitted it was a tough call to leave his boyhood club and come to Suffolk - but one he's relishing. 

He said: "I'm an Evertonian, it was a difficult decision to leave Everton, but when opportunities like this come around in football, to be at a club like Ipswich, a massive football club and a club that needs to get back where it belongs, it was too good an opportunity to turn down, to come and work with Cookie, Gary Roberts, who I know, Craney - a fantastic opportunity for me and one I'm relishing."

And Jeffers is anticipating a busy summer at Portman Road.

"There's been no talk of holidays and listen, that's fine," he said. "There's a lot of work to be done here.

"We're already planning, and I think the planning has been going on a long time, since the gaffer arrived.

"I've come in and sort of picked up the pieces.

"I'm here to help, and if I have to spend every day here over the summer, so be it because it's about being ready for the first day of the season and taking this club back where it belongs."