Jewell tells fringe players: Stake your claim

IPSWICH Town’s fringe players have a golden opportunity to impress manager Paul Jewell today as the Blues boss faces a potential injury crisis ahead of Saturday’s Championship visit of Doncaster Rovers.

A host of experienced first-team players will line up in a reserve team game against Arsenal at Playford Road this afternoon (12noon kick-off), with members of the public invited to attend free of charge.

And with Ibrahima Sonko (hamstring), Damien Delaney (foot), Lee Bowyer (hamstring), Keith Andrews (groin) and Nathan Ellington (calf) all struggling with knocks, there is a chance for others to stake their claim. “It’s a squad game and we may well move things around at the weekend,” said Jewell.

“I don’t know how the injuries will pan out, but we’ll monitor them and try and come up with a plan as the week progresses.

“We’ve got a lot of players that should be keen to impress me.”

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Sonko suffered a ‘grade two’ tear of his problematic left hamstring during Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Millwall and now faces a prolonged absence, while fellow centre-back Delaney is still struggling with the foot injury which forced him off against Crystal Palace.

Bowyer also came off with a hamstring problem at the weekend, while Jewell has revealed that midfield team-mate Andrews has reported a tight groin and striker Ellington strained his calf warming up at half-time.

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The likes of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Lee Martin, Josh Carson, Tommy Smith, Tamas Priskin, Daryl Murphy and Colin Healy have all been included in the reserve-team squad today.

“Josh [Carson] was very close to being in my squad at the weekend,” revealed Jewell.

“When he came back in pre-season he wasn’t in the best condition, but he’s really knuckled down and he’s doing well.

“No-one is out of the picture and no-one is a permanent fixture in my squad.

“While people are here they will always have an opportunity if they do well in training or reserve-team matches.”

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