‘How Portsmouth have money to sign Norris is anybody’s guess’ - Jewell

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell has been left shaking his head at the ability of Portsmouth to offer a highly lucrative deal to his skipper David Norris.

But Jewell says that if the midfielder goes in the summer on a free transfer to Fratton Park, Ipswich Town will survive without Norris and that Norris will survive without Ipswich Town.

Norris, who is expected to lead Town in their Championship game at Turf Moor against Burnley today (kick-off 3pm), has indicated to Jewell that he would like to stay put – and talks are still taking place.

Norris is available on a free transfer because Town failed to agree a contract extension so Pompey will be able to spread much of the transfer fee they would have paid to the player over the course of his contract.

But it will still be substantial money for a club that was on the brink of folding because of their serious financial position last summer and Jewell said: “Portsmouth probably haven’t paid their bills.


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“But seriously how they had the money to pay for the arrival of Liam Lawrence and Dave Kitson and pay the wages of some of their other players is anybody’s guess.

“It must be the parachute payments they receive after relegation from the Premier League, and this makes a huge difference when you are trying to make an impact in the Championship.”

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Jewell is expected to keep faith with his regular back four today against promotion-chasing Burnley, but it will be interesting to see who he plumps for in midfield.

Norris, Grant Leadbitter and Jimmy Bullard would appear automatic selections and Jewell has indicated that 17-year-old Josh Carson will keep his place.

Despite Lee Martin starting a two-match ban the Blues boss still has Andy Drury, Colin Healy, Luke Hyam, Jaime Peters, Luciano Civelli and possibly Kieron Dyer all fit and with next season in mind there could be a surprise inclusion.

Connor Wickham is likely to retain his lone front-running role, although he could take up a wide position again with Jason Scotland coming in up front.

Jewell has confirmed that he has shown no interest in bringing full back David Wright back to Portman Road having managed the current Crystal Palace player when in charge at Wigan Athletic.

Today’s likely line-ups

Burnley: Grant; Mears, Carlisle, Duffy, Easton; Wallace, Bartley, Marney, Eagles; Delfouneso, Rodriguez, Bikey, Jensen, Alexander, Duff, Edgar, Elliott, Fletcher, Cork.

Ipswich Town: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, McAuley, Delaney, Kennedy, O’Dea, Peters, Bullard, Norris, Leadbitter, Drury, Carson, Dyer, Wickham, Scotland, Fulop, Healy, Civelli, Hyam, O’Connor.

Referee: Mr T Kettle (Rutland)

WOULD you rate David Norris as a big loss if he move on? Let us know – e-mail starsport@eveningstar.co.uk.

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