Jewell wants to see a ‘scruffy’ Wickham
IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell is looking for teenage sensation Connor Wickham to come down to earth.
The 17-year-old will line up in the Blues team for today’s Championship fixture at Oakwell against Barnsley (kick-off 3pm) with Town fans still basking in the brilliance of his outstanding solo goal against Sheffield United at Portman Road last Saturday.
As Jewell seeks to lead Ipswich out of relegation trouble he knows the important part Wickham’s goals can play in a move up the table.
“It was a terrific goal last week by Connor,” said Jewell. “It lifted everybody off their seats including Jimmy Bullard who had just been substituted and ran down the touchline to celebrate.
“You can’t take away the quality of that goal, which put the icing on the cake to a good second half performance.
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“Hopefully he can now go on a run of goals and I’d like to see more scruffy ones from Connor – more tap-ins from inside the six-yard box perhaps.
“Connor is going to be special, but he is a long way away from being a finished article.
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“He’s doing a special job for us at the moment, and not playing in the position where he is going to end up.
“I’ve had long conversations with him and it would be nice not to put too much emphasis on the lad.
“Noel Blake from the England Under-19 set-up told me that Connor’s attitude was top class in Tuesday’s international when he did not receive much help and was often isolated up front.
“Connor is special, but I want to be in charge of a lot of special players.”
Jewell has again confirmed that he will be happy to loan one or two of his younger players out between now and the end of the season.
“We have to be careful we do not leave ourselves short, but I’m not against players going out on loan,” said Jewell.
“It can improve the young ones and is better fot them than playing a reserve game every three weeks or so.”
The Town boss can also be expected to bring a player or two into the club before the end of the season with a striker being a top option if Swansea come up with the right offer to attract Jason Scotland to join them on loan.
Jewell sees the contract issues that surround 21 of his players as being no major issue explaining: “It’s no problem for me or for any member of the squad.
“We’re all together with Jason Scotland the only possible player who might not be too happy.”