Jewell has not lost faith in New Zealand international Smith

IPSWICH Town go to Queens Park Rangers for a Championship game tonight (kick-off 8pm) with New Zealand international Tommy Smith still waiting for his first piece of first team action under new manager Paul Jewell.

The 20-year-old, who scored twice for the reserves against Colchester last week, was an ever present in the starting line-up for 16 games prior to Roy Keane’s last match in charge at home to Nottingham Forest on January 3.

But he has had to kick his heels on the bench ever since with Jewell understandably loathe to make enforced changes with his team unbeaten for six league games.

Jewell confirmed that he has not lost faith in Smith, and added: “If Tommy came in I would not lose any sleep.

“Central defenders Gareth McAuley and Damien Delaney have done well and the back four has been decent with Mark Kennedy terrific at left back.

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“I thought I was going to bring in a right back last week but Habib Beye decided to stay with Aston Villa.

“But I’m happy with Carlos Edwards in that position. He gets caught out of position occasionally but he’s athletic and has done well.”

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Jimmy Bullard is eligible to come back in tonight and Jewell must decide whether to leave out Colin Healy or Andy Drury, which is likely to be the only change from Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Hull.

“I’ve made my mind up and it was the hardest decision I’ve had to make since I’ve been here,” added Jewell.

Town have a reserve game against Southend at Playford Road tomorrow with a 2pm kick-off.

Tonight’s likely squads

QPR: Kenny, Hill, Orr, Connolly, Gorkss, Routledge, Derry, Taarabt, Faurlin, Miller, Helguson, Buzsaky, Vaagen Moen, Hulse, Hall, Chimbonda, Shittu, Cerny.

Ipswich Town: Fulop, Edwards, McAuley, Delaney, Kennedy, Martin, Leadbitter, Bullard, Healy, Drury, Wickham, Scotland, Priskin, Lee-Barrett, Peters, Civelli, O’Dea, Hyam.

Referee: Mr K Wright (Cambridgeshire)

Ipswich Town league record at QPR

P31 W10 D8 L13 F38 A41

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