Ibrahima Sonko leads the love for Jimmy Bullard

THERE’S still plenty of love for Jimmy Bullard in the Ipswich Town dressing room.

It wasn’t that long ago that the charismatic midfielder was being hailed as a major transfer coup by supporters, with many predicting that the ‘dressing room joker’ was the man to raise spirits at the club.

Undoubtedly out-of-form of late, however, he has suddenly been accused of ‘not caring’ by some sections of fans following a seven-game losing streak. The 33-year-old has been dropped by manager Paul Jewell for the last two home games – and that inevitably led to speculation of a bust-up between the pair.

The Blues boss has dismissed the rumours though, while defender Ibrahima Sonko insists none of the squad would ever want their fun-loving team-mate to change.

“I was laughing in training with Jimmy just now,” said Jewell yesterday. “Apparently we are not speaking to each other – but that’s not the case at all.

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“He’s not playing that great but that happens – he’s not the only one who has been left out. No one has a divine right to play and Jimmy is no different to any other player.

“He was terrific when he came last season and won Player of the Year. The fans loved him and I hope they still do because we all love him.”

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Sonko added: “Footballers quickly get on each others’ backs if they don’t feel a team-mate is not giving their best, but there have been no individuals getting singled out.

“Jimmy is Jimmy and he continues to be fantastic around the place. He’s always joking and trying to make people smile – that’s great, you need that in the team.

“A lot of expectation was put on him because he came here last season and did so well. And when things aren’t going right people will always blame the best player.

“He has to just take the criticism, refocus and show us the magic that he is capable of.”

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