Ipswich boss Jewell sets his sights on recruiting a holding midfield player

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell today intensified his search for a midfielder to bolster what he hopes will be a promotion drive next season.

Jewell witnessed his side concede three bad goals, but still show the character to battle back from 3-1 down to earn a point from last night’s thrilling Championship match against Middlesbrough at Portman Road.

The manager was unhappy with the way Town were put under pressure at the back, and said: “We haven’t got a holding midfield player.

“We need someone in a holding role to make life easier for the back four and this is someone I will be looking for.

“It doesn’t seem to happen away from home where we can cope, but teams tend to open us up with some quick raids at Portman Road.

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“Our two central defenders Gareth McAuley and Damien Delaney have been exceptional since I arrived, but they struggled last night against two good forward players.”

Whether Jewell’s quest to bring in a new midfielder will signal the departure of David Norris or the non-return of Jimmy Bullard after his current loan spell from Hull ends remains to be seen.

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Jewell was left frustrated that a ‘goal’ by Connor Wickham when the score was 3-1 was disallowed for offside.

“Connor was so far on-side it was untrue,” added Jewell. “We could have felt sorry for ourselves after that but we battled back well and after being two goals behind we have to be happy to take a point.

“Arran Lee-Barrett kept us in the game with two great saves and then their keeper made two stunning saves near the end.

“It could have been 7-7 and the late stop from a Jimmy Bullard’s free-kick was certainly not text book and could so easily have been a winning goal.

“Earlier we had looked nervous for a while and became a too loose and went to pieces defensively.

“But the lads did not hide and that bodes well.”

Former Town player and caretaker manager Tony Mowbray revealed that Seb Hines was kept in hospital after breaking his jaw in two places.

And the Middlesbrough boss added: “Neither team is now looking over their shoulders and so it became an attacking game.

“My left back could have had a hat-trick from one-on-ones but we tired a bit at the death.

“Ipswich deserve credit for showing a great desire not to be beaten and we are battling on with just one fit striker on the books in Scott McDonald.

“We tried to play around him and although there were six goals there could easily have been 12.”

Ipswich play at Bristol City on Saturday before returning to Portman Road next Thursday for the visit of Norwich City for what should be a memorable battle against a team looking for automatic promotion.

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