Jewell - ‘My search for new players started two months ago’

PAUL Jewell is confident that he will start re-building Ipswich Town in the early part of pre-season.

The Blues manager has been given the wherewithal by Marcus Evans - as confirmed by the club owner in today’s programme - to bring in players he wants who can turn Town into a promotion-seeking club again.

Jewell wants to step in early and clinch deals for one if not two proven goalscorers a holding midfielder and most probably a couple of other newcomers as well.

Speaking before today’s final home game of the season against Preston at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm), Jewell said: “The beauty of what the players have achieved this season enables me to know where we are going to be next season.

“Other clubs are still unsure whether they will be in the Championship or the Premier League so we can steal a march on them by moving quickly into the transfer market.

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“I started work on bringing in the players I want two months ago, and this will take some of the work load off what is set to be a busy summer.”

Jewell is similar to his peers and will not comment on speculation, but he did confirm that he has been promised enough cash to strengthen his squad to the levels he would like.

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“I saw the owner after the Reading game and I will not have major amounts of money,” added Jewell.

“But apart from Leicester City I cannot see any Championship clubs having a huge amount to spend.

“I know what I can spend and how much I will have for wages, and I’m in for hungry players and good players who can give us a killer instinct in key areas.

“A scorer for example, who would knock his grandmother out of the way to find the back of the net. I want big players.

“With a 25 goal a season striker we would have been in the mix for promotion this season.”

When asked if he might be looking to sign a goalkeeper, Jewell replied: “I’m always looking for players I think can improve us if we can afford them.

“We have one keeper already on contract next season and two who we have offered new deals to, which answers the question.

“But Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola at Barcelona would be interested if he could find someone better than Lionel Messi - although he would have a hard job finding someone.”

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