Jewell must act fast to sign Andrews

SIGNING Euro 2012 hero Keith Andrews on a permanent basis must be one of Paul Jewell’s top priorities.

The midfielder played a starring role in the Republic of Ireland’s fantastic 4-0 win in Estonia which all but booked their qualification to next summer’s European Championships.

The second leg in Dublin tomorrow night is a virtual formality thanks to a wonderful away performance by the Irish – roared on by the Ipswich loan midfielder.

Andrews struck with a rare header in the 12th minute before setting up Robbie Keane for Ireland’s number three with a long range shot that Blues fans have quickly grown accustomed to.

With Andrews out of contract in the summer and having no desire to remain at parent club Blackburn Rovers, he has said all the right things about signing permanently for Ipswich – a desire echoed by manager Paul Jewell.

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Speaking recently to the EADT, Andrews, who is on a half-season loan from Ewood Park, said: “I have come here, enjoyed it and had a new lease of life. I would imagine the chances of me staying are good. I am sure it is something that will get done.”

While securing some pace and youth in January must be a top priority for Jewell, the all-action 31-year-old, who has scored five times for Town, has surely done enough to warrant a permanent deal.

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But while his performance in Tallin might have got Irish eyes smiling, it could have inadvertently encouraged other Premier League clubs to take a look at Andrews, who impressed hugely in the centre of a traditional 4-4-2 formation.

So much so, that after his goal his name became a trending topic on social media website Twitter across the world!

Andrews’ focus will be on completing the job and booking Ireland’s place for Poland and Ukraine in front of a jubilant home crowd tomorrow night.

But Jewell might be well-advised to get him round a table and persuade him to back his words with a long-term contract sooner rather than later.

* Read Dave Gooderham’s thoughts on the Andrews situation at

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