Jewell steps up his hunt to bring in loan players

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell is keeping his fingers crossed that Jimmy Bullard and Colin Healy come through fitness tests today to enable them to face Leeds United in a Championship fixture at Elland Road tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

“If not we will be down on numbers in midfield, and against a good Leeds side I’d like to take on the fixture with as many senior players as I can,” said Jewell.

Jewell along with his number two Chris Hutchings and chief scout Steve McCall were keeping the training ground telephones red hot yesterday as they searched for Premier League players to bring in on loan.

“We have not been successful yet,” added Jewell this morning.

“Earlier in the week we were knocked back for a couple of midfielders with their managers wanting to keep them at least until this weekend with FA Cup games taking place.

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“The players concerned are in their club’s 25 strong list of registered players and their managers wanted to save them.

“We need a couple to come in and it is on-going.”

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Jewell is aware that his squad is limited if he has injuries and suspensions with skipper David Norris starting a two-match ban tomorrow and Mark Kennedy out with a hamstring problem.

Bullard missed Tuesday’s 3-1 home defeat by Reading after suffering hamstring problems at Cardiff last Saturday while Healy has been out since the defeat at QPR on February 22 with a stomach muscle tear.

“We must be careful we do not turn things into a Jimmy Bullard saga,” added Jewell. “But at least it takes the pressure off Connor Wickham.

“We’ll give him every opportunity and only the player knows if he is right with a hamstring niggle.

“Colin Healy trained yesterday and we’ll see if he suffers any reaction. We have a few more knocks, but can’t afford any other absentees.

“Luke Hyam is going to be good player, but he lacks experience and we are seriously looking at the loan market.”

Jewell revealed that he had enquired about Nathan Delfouneso, but the Aston Villa youngster opted for Burnley.

“You cannot blame him looking at the league table,” said Jewell, who said there was no truth in reports that he was interested in signing Coventry striker Marlon King.

“We may be a bit thin on the ground but we have got to do ourselves justice and bounce back from Tuesday when we let ourselves down.

“We’ve played more games than any other side in the Championship this season – 43 I think – and you rarely get a breather.”

Keeper Arran Lee-Barrett looked as though he was going to replace Marton Fulop at Cardiff last week when pulled out of a midweek reserve game.

Fulop played a blinder but was not so commanding against Reading. Lee-Barrett is set to have words with the manager about his future.

Tomorrow’s likely squads

Leeds United: Schmeichel, O’Brien, Lichaj, McCartney, Bromby, Kilkenny, Bannan, Johnson, Howson, Gradel, Paynter, Becchio, Snodgrass, Naylor, Higgs, Bruce, Watt, Somma, McCormack

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

Referee: Mr D Deadman (Cambridgeshire)

Ipswich Town league record at Leeds United

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