Fringe 10 can still force their way into the picture

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell insists his fringe players will be given a fair chance to impress in pre-season.

With a host of players set to either turn down or be released from contracts this summer, the Blues squad will be reduced to just 20 professionals over the coming weeks – half of whom having found their chances severely limited this season.

Jimmy Bullard didn’t start a game in the final five months of the campaign, Ryan Stevenson was eased in after his January switch from Hearts, while forgotten duo Nathan Ellington and Jaime Peters were told they could ‘move on’ by their manager recently.

Homegrown youngsters Josh Carson, Luke Hyam and Jack Ainley made just 17 starts between them, Ronan Murray was loaned out to Swindon, while teenagers Joe Whight and Cormac Burke weren’t deemed ready during their debut campaigns as professionals.

And while Jewell has revealed he is looking to make at least six summer signings, he insists no-one is completely out of the picture.

“I might have certain opinions of players but I am one of these managers whose opinion can be changed,” said the Blues boss.

“I think you only have to look at our team. Luke Hyam didn’t get a look-in but then turned it around, Andy Drury was on loan at Crawley, Tommy Smith didn’t get a look-in.

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“I am a massive believer in training. I have said Nathan and Jaime can move on, but if they are still here and give it everything they have got, things can change.”

He continued: “I was at Bradford City as a player and couldn’t get any further out of the picture. I was training on my own with kit with holes in it and everyone laughing at me. It was very hard and I couldn’t understand why the manager was doing it.

“I felt sorry for myself for a couple of days but then got on with it. Two years later I wasn’t playing for Bradford, I was manager.

“I’ve been as low as you can get. I’ve been that player who is told ‘don’t bother turning up as you won’t get in either team’ when a club takes 22 to Whitby Town to play a different side in each half.

“I know what it is like, but you can’t feel sorry for yourself and blame the manager and everyone else. I wasn’t going to give up, I just fought and fought.”