Jewell hints that he might make changes at Cardiff
IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell has hinted at making changes for the visit to the Cardiff City Stadium tomorrow.
His side travels to Wales to take on a Bluebirds side (kick-off 5.20pm) in a live televised contest seeking their first win in four games having taken just one point from the last three matches.
Although beaten by Queens Park Rangers and Portsmouth in their last two outings and being held at home by Hull City previously, Ipswich were dominant for long periods in all three games.
Having hit Doncaster Rovers for six on February 15, Town have managed just one goal despite pulverising Pompey for 55 minutes last Saturday and passing up chance after chance.
Jewell is never one to make unnecessary changes but he kept Town fans guessing when he said: “All will be revealed about my selection around 4.20pm tomorrow.”
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He was understandably happy with all aspects of his team last weekend apart from putting the ball into the net and conceding two poor goals.
“It was the best we have played since I have been here, and better than games that we won in late January and early February,” he said.
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Jewell will be looking to see Jason Scotland, who is joint leading scorer with skipper David Norris on nine goals and has the pedigree to turn that into at least 15 by the end of the season, and Connor Wickham to make the most of opportunities that come their way.
Being cagey over his selection may mean a return for Tamas Priskin or a switch round in formation with perhaps a 4-4-2 formation.
Jewell will be asking for the rest of the team to chip in - with more potency from corners and free-kicks when central defenders Gareth McAuley and Damien Delaney go forward.
Jewell is unlikely to change from his 4-5-1 formation while he has the current players at his disposal and this leaves Scotland ploughing a main lone furrow up front.
Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill reckons that Ipswich have the best midfield in the division with Norris, Grant Leadbitter and Hull loanee Jimmy Bullard.
And Bullard is well aware of the talent currently at Portman Road with Colin Healy, Andy Drury, Luca Civelli and Luke Hyam all pushing strongly for a midfield start.
“I’m enjoying myself here and getting into the groove after not playing regularly for some while,” said Bullard.
“But I know that I have to keep playing well to see my name on the team sheet every week as there is real competition for places.”
New Zealand international defender Tommy Smith is likely to be on the bench tomorrow having not kicked a ball in the first team since Jewell arrived.
The manager would like to see some youngsters go out on loan but he has confimed that being part of his first team squad he sees Smith as someone he would like to stay.
“Players like Conor Horihane and Jack Ainsley could benefit from a loan,” said Jewell.
Tomorrow’s likely squads:
Cardiff City: Brown, Quinn, Keinan, McNaughton, Hudson, Whitingham, McPhail, Bellamy, Chopra, Bothroyd, Burke, Emmanuel-Thomas, Naylor, Blake, Parkin, Rae, Koumas, Heaton.
Ipswich Town: Fulop, Lee-Barrett, Edwards, McAuley, Delaney, Kennedy, Martin, Leadbitter, Norris, Bullard, Wickham, Scotland, Peters, O’Dea, Smith, Civelli, Hyam, Drury, Priskin, O’Connor.
Referee: Mr A Bates (Staffordshire)
Ipswich league record at Cardiff City
P17 W7 D4 L6 F26 A20