Jewell praises Town’s magnificent fans

IPSWICH Town fans are backing the club’s new manager Paul Jewell with over 22,000 fans expected for tomorrow’s Championship game against Portsmouth at Portman Road.

Only twice in the league this season have the turnstiles clicked to this level for the visits of Cardiff and Leeds United in September and early October.

A promotion for season ticket holders to purchase reduced price tickets has gone very well and this backed by the new belief among fans that Jewell can bring the good times back is set to see an extra 5,000 at least in the ground from the dismal days before Christmas.

Jewell is appreciative of the way supporters have got behind his side, and he was amazed at the support on Tuesday at Loftus Road when his team lost 2-0 to leaders QPR.

“It was a magnificent turn out of over 1,700,” he said. “To achieve that for a midweek away match is wonderful and I can assure fans that it is greatly appreciated by the players and staff.”

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Jewell was basically happy with his side’s display against Rangers, but he repeated his desire to bring in a 20 to 25-goal a season striker, which is likely to have to wait until the summer unless a suitable loan deal becomes available.

The manager revealed that he has not sorted out the financial implications of going into the market for the hottest commodities around – proven goalscorers.

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“Getting the finance buttoned up is the �1million or �2million dollar question,” said Jewell.

“I’m seeking someone with 20 to 25 goals a season in their locker.

“I think we all know that we need a quality scorer and hopefully we’ll have that next season to go with the quality that we have already got here.

“We are aware of what we need.”

Jewell says that he is not just blaming his strikers for a lack of goals, and he added: “Our central defenders go up for corners and free-kicks and I’m looking for goals from all over.

“We have played really attractive football and had plenty of possession in our last two games but ended up with one point and a failure to work the opposing keepers enough.

“We dominated for long periods in both games and QPR could certainly not wait for the interval to come.

“But we’ve got to turn our domination into goals. I’m pleased with what we did against Hull and QPR, but not pleased with not scoring goals.”

One proven striker who could have part to play tomorrow is Ray Crawford, Town’s legendary predator who scored so many goals under the management of first Alf Ramsey and then Bill McGarry in the late sixties.

Now 74 he is coming up from his native Portsmouth to work for a Pompey radio station.

During his time in the press box watching Ipswich for BBC Radio Suffolk he did not witness a single defeat.

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