Jewell ‘excited’ by young star he wants to keep

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell has joined the Connor Wickham fan club, and has confirmed that he will be looking to hold on to the talented 17-year-old striker.

A number of Premier League clubs are keeping tabs on Wickham who is expected to feature when Town play Doncaster Rovers in the Championship at Portman Road today (kick-off 3pm).

“Connor excites me,” enthused Jewell.

“He has an exciting future and hopefully that will be with Ipswich Town.

“Connor has all the attributes and with a bit of help he can make it big.

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“He has a lot to learn, but he is keen to learn, which is a good thing.

“With his build it is easy to forget how young he is as he’s already a man mountain.

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“He was outstanding against Arsenal, but we must be careful not to put too much pressure on his shoulders as at 17 he’ll have peaks and troughs.”

A first goal of the season for Wickham against Doncaster would come at an opportune moment with Ipswich needing to start a move back up the table.

Jewell, who has been pleased with how the first full week of training went since his appointment went, knows the severity of the league situation.

He went on: “We’re in a dog fight – in the mire. But I’m more than confident we can get out of it.”

Jewell is also aware that he has to address having 21 players going out of contract in the summer – with vultures already hovering overhead looking at the likes of David Norris and Gareth McAuley.

“Players want to know what the future holds and hopefully we’ll get the right results for everyone,” said Jewell.

“It is not ideal to let players come to the last year of their contracts and we must look to stop this happening in future.

“As regards David Norris and Gareth McAuley at the moment I’ve not spoken to them about their futures. It’s not about players leaving it’s about taking the club forward.”

Luca Civelli reminds Jewell of Kevin Kilbane and said that the Argentinian winger looked good in a behind-closed-doors 2-0 win against Fulham in midweek.

“But when you’ve been out for a long while with injury there is concern,” said Jewell, who has looked at one potential property but has so far spent his time in Ipswich between hotel and training ground.

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