Jewell targets youth and pace
SIX of his new signings are closing in on a total of 2,100 professional starts.
But Town boss Paul Jewell is under no illusion what his burgeoning Blues now needs.
It is not a Champions League semi-finalist like Lee Bowyer, nor an internationally-experienced player like Ivar Ingimarsson.
He wants more ‘Cressies’, as he calls fellow Liverpudlian Aaron Cresswell, more youngsters that fall under the radar but arrive and instantly impress everyone with their youthful hunger and exuberance.
Jewell explained: “We are looking at the future of the club. To improve, we know we need to bring in more ‘Cressies’ – the young ones.
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“As well as being in the market to spend money, we are also in the market to get little hidden games. We are trying to cover all angles. They are out there, they are just very hard to find.”
While the likes of Bowyer, Ibrahima Sonko and Keith Andrews have answered the dire need for leaders and characters, a section of fans are now questioning a recruitment policy that they view as short-term.
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But Jewell is well aware of the importance of finding little-known players from the lower leagues as well as improving youngsters currently at the club.
Cresswell was linked with a move to Ipswich throughout the summer but most supporters were scratching their heads over the arrival of a left-back who had just one full season with Tranmere Rovers under his belt.
But the 21-year-old has quickly dampened any concerns with a series of mature performance, aligning an attacking threat with a steady head at the back.
And it is this youth and pace that Jewell is now targeting – both with prospective new loan signings this week and in the longer term.
The manager said: “I think when you look at our team, it stands out that we are lacking a little bit of pace.
“It is not as if the experienced players are coming into a side that is rolling teams over. We are struggling to find our rhythm and find our feet and get to know each other. But I am sure we will grow together.”