Jewell - It was not a good night for our players looking to impress for next season

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell could not explain his side’s poor display in their 3-1 defeat by Reading in the Championship fixture at Portman Road last night.

But he said: “If our players were looking to impress with next season in mind it was not a very good performance. In fact it was poor.

“You can see why we are where we are in the table and we were flat and leggy from the word go.

“I cannot explain it, and we did not deserve anything from the match.

“It was really disappointing with no zip or zest and no tempo or rhythm to our game.

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“Reading were better than us in all departments and we never put them under any pressure while they were always a threat.”

It was Ipswich’s second successive home defeat and they have now only accrued one point from their last three games at Portman Road.

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Jewell will be aware of the current limitations in his squad and he ruled out tiredness being a factor in the poor showing, although he admitted that key midfielder Jimmy Bullard was missed because of a hamstring injury.

Jewell added: “Reading also played on Saturday and they didn’t look tired and there are people out there who work shifts from 6am to 6pm and that is hard work.

“Jimmy damaged his hamstring early on on Saturday but carried on playing and yesterday morning we thought he might be okay but it was decided not to take a risk with him.

“Hopefully he will be okay for Saturday’s game at Leeds as it looks as though we will be missing David Norris with a two-match suspension after his 10th booking last night.”

Connor Wickham scored a stoppage time consolation for the Blues after the dangerous Shane Long, Ian Harte and Noel Hunt had given the visitors a deserved 3-0 advantage.

Brian McDermott, the Reading manager, said: “This was as good an away performance as you will see in the Championship.

“We wanted to put on a good show before we go to Manchester City in the FA Cup where we want to follow on from this. We changed our system to match Ipswich because we respected them and it was a good night for us.”

Ipswich do not have any further injury worries with Bullard hoping to be back on Saturday where possibly Colin Healy could also be available although left-back Mark Kennedy remains a doubt with his hamstring problem.

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