Jewell curses international break

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell has been left cursing the two-week international break after watching his team’s impressive form hit new heights at the weekend.

The Blues have dropped just two points from their last four Championship games, with Saturday’s 3-1 come-from-behind win over Brighton moving them to within a point of the top six.

That momentum has been disrupted by this weekend’s round of European Championship Qualifiers though, with Town’s next game – away at Cardiff – coming a week on Saturday.

David Stockdale (England), Danny Collins (Wales), Damien Delaney and Keith Andrews (both Republic of Ireland) will all be away with their national sides.

“We wish we had another game straight away,” said Jewell, after Michael Chopra’s stunning brace of strikes and Ibrahima Sonko’s header sealed a third straight home win.

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“We’ll take a breather though and hopefully be able to keep the momentum going when we come back.

“I’d rather my players weren’t going away on international duty because you’re worried they will come back injured or tired, but every manager has got the same problems.”

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Meanwhile, Brighton manager Gus Poyet conceded his side were ‘second best’ and has backed Ipswich to challenge for promotion if they remain injury free.

“They have plenty of quality and plenty of experience,” said the Uruguayan. “If they can keep key players fit then they will be in the top six for sure.”

– For a live Ipswich Town webchat with EADT and Evening Star writers Stuart Watson and Dave Gooderham, log onto this website at 1pm today.


David Stockdale (England) – away to Montenegro on Friday

Danny Collins (Wales) – home to Switzerland on Friday and away at Bulgaria next Tues

Keith Andrews and Damien Delaney (Rep of Ireland) – away to Andorra on Friday and home to Armenia next Tuesday

NB – Neither Jason Scotland nor Carlos Edwards will be in action for Trinidad & Tobago for their World Cup Qualifiers against Bermuda and Barbados. Scotland announced his international retirement last week, while Edwards has withdrawn from the squad as he is due in court next Tuesday to face motoring charges.

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