Jewell looks for improvements at Roots Hall

POPULAR Ipswich Town full-back Shane O’Connor will tonight fight for his footballing future.

But it will not be as part of Paul Jewell’s squad as the Blues continue their pre-season preparations at Southend United (7.45pm ko).

Instead, the fans favourite is set to line up for League Two Crawley Town in their own friendly against Crystal Palace.

It will be the second time in three days that he has lined up for Steve Evans’ league newcomers after being a surprise inclusion in the 8-1 win over East Grinstead Town. And he did his chances no harm at all, scoring once and setting up a goal for Matt Tubbs, in an impressive display on Tuesday night.

While Crawley will be looking to strike a deal for O’Connor, the midweek match was played in front of a number of scouts and the 21-year-old might be looking to begin next season at a higher level.

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O’Connor last week revealed that he would have to consider other options after struggling to impress Jewell in pre-season and missing out on the pre-season tour to the Netherlands.

While many fans have been left perplexed by O’Connor’s fall from grace, all eyes will be on Roots Hall tonight where Town take a strong squad to face the League Two side.

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Coming days after the poor 2-2 draw at non-league Cambridge United, Jewell will be demanding vast improvements and less mistakes. One positive from the R Costings Abbey Stadium was the fact that there were no new injuries although new signing Ivar Ingimarsson is again unlikely to be risked.

Aaron Cresswell and Josh Carson should both be in the squad, for what will be their third match in a week, with the midfielder now remaining with Town rather than joining up with Northern Ireland Under-18s for next week’s Milk Cup international competition.

Former Town wingers, Reggie Lambe and Darren Currie, have both played for the Shrimpers in pre-season but neither are expected to face their old club tonight with Southend boss Paul Sturrock opting for his strongest side, led by former Millwall striker Neil Harris.

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