Ipswich Town running the risk of repeating contract mistakes

IPSWICH Town’s poor start to the season could end up with a repeat of the contract mistakes manager Paul Jewell vowed to avoid.

The Blues saw key duo Gareth McAuley and David Norris – recruited for around �3m between them – leave on Bosman free transfers back in the summer.

Contract negotiations had been left too late, as the club – struggling under former boss Roy Keane – were worried about committing to deals while the threat of relegation remained a possibility.

Norris and McAuley always maintained that they had both wanted to stay at Portman Road, but a failure to tie them down to new deals left the door open for Portsmouth and West Brom to nip in.

New boss Jewell has a whopping 18 players inside the final seven months of their contracts at present including captain Grant Leadbitter, striker Jason Scotland and right-back Carlos Edwards.

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All of the above have insisted that they want to remain at the Suffolk club, however, with the Blues hovering precariously above the drop zone following a recent run of seven straight defeats, Jewell is not rushing into any negotiations just yet.

The Town manager hopes that having to earn a new deal – be it at Town or elsewhere – will motivate his players to raise their game over the crucial Christmas period.

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Only time will tell if that is a risk worth taking.

Ipswich players in the final seven months of their contracts:

Jason Scotland, Grant Leadbitter, Carlos Edwards, Josh Carson, Richard Wright, Mark Kennedy, Tommy Smith, Shane O’Connor, Ibrahima Sonko, �var Ingimarsson, Lee Bowyer, Josh Carson, Luke Hyam, Tam�s Priskin, Ronan Murray, Cody Cropper and Cormac Burke (all end June 30, some with the option of a further year). Jack Ainsley and Jamie Griffiths (end of this month).

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