Jewell says don’t feel sorry for ‘tired’ Wickham
IPSWICH TOWN: Two Blues players face fitness tests before manager Paul Jewell can finalise his team for tonight’s Championship match against Reading at Portman Road (kick-off 7.45pm).
Left back Mark Kennedy is a certain omission after suffering a slight hamstring problem at Cardiff City on Saturday and Colin Healy will again be missing.
“We have one or two other injury concerns that will probably stretch us a bit,” said Jewell.
“We will see where we are after the fitness tests, but I have named my squad and the players know.”
Jewell wanted to keep to himself, which players he had has brought into his 18-strong squad in addition to the ones that were on duty on Saturday.
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He expects Kennedy to be out for around two weeks, and added: “Mark had an x-ray on Saturday night and another one yesterday.
“He is an experienced professional and came off the field early to limit the damage and I would imagine he will be back before we have an international break at the end of the month.
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“Colin Healy could be available for selection for our weekend visit to Leeds United.”
Shane O’Connor and Luke Hyam are candidates to come into the squad with Jewell confirming that Connor Wickham will start.
“He looked a bit tired on Saturday and I was going to bring him off, but he wanted to stay on,” said Jewell.
“He’s only 17 and has played more games on the trot than before in his career, and he will deserve a breather one day. But he’ll play tonight.
“He’s playing in an unglamorous position and along with fellow wide player Lee Martin he is doing a great job for the team.
“It’s a tough league and he’s not playing in his favourite position, but we should not feel sorry for him.”
One player waiting in the wings to step in tonight if changes need to be made is defender Tommy Smith who has yet to kick a ball in the first team since the arrival of Paul Jewell in early January.
All Whites international Smith has donated his shirt to help the New Zealand Earthquake appeal.
Smith played in all three games in last summer’s World Cup finals in South Africa that the Kiwi’s played and he’s arranged for his Town team mates to sign the shirt.
Former Ipswich Town Supporter’s Club North of England branch member Phil Coppeard is one of over 200 people who were reported missing in the tragedy which has killed at least 166.
Camilla Haycock, Ipswich’s media and PR manager, said; “When we heard that Phil was among the missing in Christchurch our thoughts immediately went out to his wife Sue.
“Asking Tommy to donate his shirt and get the lads to sign it so that we could auction it off on the club site struck us as a great way to raise funds for the appeal.”
The shirt is now on the club’s site, which can be accessed via www.itfc.co.uk and the auction is due to finish this weekend. Proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross’ New Zealand Earthquake Appeal.