Jason Scotland’s Ipswich future up in the air after coming close to joining Bristol City

JASON Scotland’s future with the Blues is looking increasingly bleak after Paul Jewell admitted only an 11th hour U-turn stopped the striker moving to tomorrow’s opponents Bristol City.

Scotland, who is out of contract in the summer, has suffered a fall from grace after going from being a key member of Jewell’s team to languishing on the bench for the last five matches.

While the 33-year-old is just three league starts from earning a new contract on the same wages, Town boss Jewell has admitted Scotland was close to exiting Portman Road on loan two short weeks ago.

And the striker – who was happy to make the switch to Ashton Gate – must now be considering his future away from Suffolk with the manager close to sanctioning the move.

Jewell revealed: “I met Derek McInnes (Bristol City boss) after the game when we played Portsmouth because he was at the match. We spoke about Jason and had an open and frank discussion.

“I let Jason know exactly what was happening and in the end I decided not to let him go. Jason was quite happy with that, he was happy to go and play, but Bristol City were down at the wrong end of the table so we decided not to let it happen.”

Scotland was close to joining Blackpool before the end of the August transfer window but the Seasiders were unable to match his high wages.

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Though Jewell has always said he would play his international striker, without considering his contract stipulations, the form of Michael Chopra, and Lee Martin in a withdrawn role, has left Scotland watching on from the sidelines.

There are still 14 matches left but Jewell seems happy to stick with one upfront which has largely heralded an upturn in fortunes.

With no fresh injury problems to report, and with defender Tommy Smith set to return to training this morning following his ardous international duty, Jewell must decide whether to bring in a fresh face or two in the wake of last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Brighton.

But with Bristol City just one place off the bottom three and Town seemingly turning the corner, fans will arrive at Portman Road in good heart.

With one eye on the future, Jewell said: “We want to get the crowd excited, it’s up to us to get them excited and get them back next season.

“We want a vibrant team, full of energy that the supporters can get excited about for the future.”