He’s no Der Kaiser but Sonko ends Town’s ‘milky’ backbone
HE may not be Franz Beckenbauer.
But the man fans love to call Superman for his prodigious leap showed all the attributes the leaky Blues defence have been missing of late.
Paul Jewell led the plaudits after watching Ibrahima Sonko restore some strength into Ipswich Town in their 2-1 win over Leeds United.
And despite not playing a competitive match for a whopping seven months, Sonko quickly won over any doubters with his no-nonsense style of defending.
Jewell admitted: “I think when you’re stood in the tunnel – no disrespect to what we’ve had – and you look at Sonko, you look again. You see the size of him and he’s an imposing figure.
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“Too many times this season we’ve been a bit milky at the back, a bit weak. He’s not Beckenbauer but he puts his body on the line.
“He heads it, he kicks it and that’s what we need – someone who’s going to defend for their lives.”
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Jewell is convinced his new free signing will get better and the Town boss will now have two weeks on the training ground to work on defensive drills and improving fitness – the latter also applying to fellow new boys Jimmy Bullard and Daryl Murphy.
Jewell explained: “There’s a lot of work to do on the training pitch fitness-wise and we’ll still try and bring in one or two players before or after the transfer window.”
Despite Sonko’s impressive showing, Jewell will surely look for one more centre back – probably a youthful one on loan from the Premier League – as well as a right back to put pressure on Carlos Edwards.
A third goalkeeper, possibly Richard Wright, and maybe a winger could also be on the shopping list with the transfer window closing on Wednesday night and the possibility of loan deals thereafter.
As for Saturday’s win, Jewell was typically honest in his assessment. Outplayed in the first half but with both teams unlucky not to be awarded penalties were his conclusions.
Speaking after the game, he added: “They’ll feel a bit hard done, but last week we had three or four decisions which went against us and today we’ve had a couple that went our way and a deflection.
“We know it’s not all rosy in the garden and we’ve got a bit of work to do but I think tonight is not a night to analyse it.
“Sometime you just have to take a victory, however it comes. It doesn’t hide the fact that we need to be better, but for the players, myself and supporters it’s a huge pick-me-up.”