Jewell on Norris going to Portsmouth latest

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell is understandably keeping faith with his players and is only set to replace the injured Colin Healy for tomorrow’s Championship game against Portsmouth at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm).

Healy is out with a pulled muscle in his stomach and there is a chance that skipper David Norris could return. If not Andy Drury will be favourite to fill the midfield role.

“We have one or two other bumps and bruises, but nothing major,” said Jewell, who blamed keeper Marton Fulop in the aftermath of Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers for the crucial first goal.

“I’m never hasty to make wholesale changes and not a lot went wrong at Rangers. One person making a mistake is not the end of the world and it would be wrong to make big changes.

“Chuck (Norris) trained with the physio yesterday and we’ll see how he is today. I don’t like to rule players out on a Thursday.

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“But I will not rush Chuck as we have a lot of games left this season and we do not have the biggest squad. He has a chance of playing.”

Norris limped off with ankle and knee ligament damage during the opening half of the 1-1 draw at Barnsley on February 12.

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Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill is confident of signing Norris on a free transfer in the summer having had a �250,000 bid turned down in January.

Replying to this, Jewell said: “Portsmouth have had a lot to say about our players.

“Chuck could get his wish tomorrow to play for one of the two clubs he is desperate to play for.

“He has not indicated to me that he wants to leave and we have had a chat and he is happy. I want to keep him, but what will be, will be.”

Looking at the threat posed by a Portsmouth club that have not conceded a goal for three games and have moved away from the relegation zone with a welcome nine points, Jewell went on:

“They must be disappointed with how their season has gone.

“On paper they have a lot of quality and Premier League experience. They had a terrible start to season with their off the field problems.

“But they will finish the season strongly and end comfortably in the top half.

“We have got to match their power. Recently they were slipping down the table but with a couple of 1-0 wins and a Doncaster win they are back on track and will be strong opponents.

“You can run through their team and most have top flight quality.”

Tomorrow’s likely squads

Ipswich Town: Fulop, Lee-Barrett, Edwards, McAuley, Delaney, Kennedy, O’Dea, Smith, Peters, Martin, Leadbitter, Bullard, Drury, Hyam, Civelli, Wickham, Scotland, Priskin, O’Connor, Norris.

Portsmouth: Ashdown, Halford, Rocha, Hreidarsson, de Laet, Ward, Mullins, Cotterill, Hogg, Kitson, Nugent, Flahavan, Dickinson, Kilbey, Makoena, Ciftci, Kanu, Sonko, Lawrence.

Referee: Mr S Mathieson (Cheshire)

Ipswich Town home league record against Portsmouth

P17 W8 D4 L5 F35 A18

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