It’s no Bull! - Blues boss Paul Jewell responds to Jimmy Bullard conspiracies
Don’t question Jimmy Bullard’s character.
That’s Blues boss Paul Jewell’s message to anyone who doubts the validity of the midfielder’s illness ahead of a trip to his former club Hull City today.
The 33-year-old called his manager at 10am on the morning of Monday’s 3-1 home defeat to Nottingham Forest to say he was too sick to play. And Jewell says the playmaker was still ‘very weak’ as of Wednesday – making him a major doubt for today’s FA Cup third round tie at the KC Stadium.
A legal case is still ongoing over the Tigers’ decision to cancel Bullard’s big-money contract last summer following an alleged ‘breach of discipline’ during a pre-season trip to Slovenia.
“People shouldn’t cast aspersions on Jimmy Bullard by saying he’s not really ill,” said Jewell. “He’s been to see his doctor and he’s spoken to our doctor.
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“He trained Christmas Day, was available for selection on Boxing Day. He’s not the first player to miss a game through illness and he won’t be the last.”
It sparks memories of Jon Walters’ revelation that he once texted a picture of his own vomit to ex-Blues boss Roy Keane to prove that was truly ill.
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Jewell continued: “He was in pretty bad way when I spoke to him on Monday morning, I spoke to him on Wednesday and he’s still very weak. Hopefully he’ll get better. I’m not going to rule him out the game yet.”
Town moved quickly to bring Bullard back to Portman Road on a permanent basis last August following his impressive end-of-season loan spell. He has failed to rekindle such form since signing a two-year deal though, having not started a match since the team’s spineless 4-0 defeat at Burnley back in November.
“When we signed Jimmy Bullard people on the terraces where shouting it was the best thing we’ve ever done,” said Jewell. “When we were winning games everyone was saying what a fantastic signing he is.
“Yes, Jimmy Bullard has lost his form, but he’s not the only one. So don’t let this be a Jimmy Bullard campaign.”
– See today’s EADT and Evening Star for full match preview.