Jewell - We will benefit from blank week

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell sees a blank midweek being a huge benefit.

Having played three Tuesday night Championship games in February plus an international week when key players were away from the training ground, Jewell has at last got a chance to really impose his thoughts onto his playing staff.

Along with coaches Chris Hutchings and Sean McCarthy he is able to put in some intensive work at Playford Road before the Blues play promotion-seeking Cardiff City in a tea time Saturday kick-off in south Wales.

“There is a lot of work to do,” said Jewell, who took over from Roy Keane in early January.

“We been doing an awful lot right, but we have been missing that ingredient in our last three games that brings you wins.

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“Obviously we have not scored enough goals, and that is something that had gone on before I came here, and on Saturday in the 2-0 home defeat by Portsmouth we conceded poor goals.

“Even if we had won 4-0 last weekend we would still have been looking to improve this week. That is the way it has got to be – to keep striving for improvements.”

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With skipper David Norris showing no ill-effects from his return to the team after ankle and knee ligament damage, Jewell is likely to keep an unchanged side after battering Pompey for 55 minutes and doing everything but score.

Mark Kennedy, 34, gave another sound left back display in that game, and the experienced campaigner knows the importance of having time to work on tactics on the training ground.

“When you are playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday you are either basically playing, resting or travelling with the odd training day in-between,” said Kennedy.

“So the new management team deserve a great deal of credit for what they have already achieved.

“They have not had the opportunity they would have wanted to have fully got their thoughts and tactics across.

“With the time they have had they have left no stone unturned and the training has been intense.

“This week is certainly not a holiday period as the Championship does not work like that.”

Kennedy will be facing one of his former clubs on Saturday as the former Republic of Ireland international was purchased from Cardiff City last summer.

He was an unused substitute when Town beat Dave Jones’ side 2-0 in September having helped Cardiff reach the play-off final before losing to Blackpool at Wembley last May.

During Keane’s time as Town manager he enjoyed a 100% record over a Welsh side that include Ipswich last summer close season target Michael Chopra.

In his very first game in chance Town won 3-0 at Cardiff in April 2009 and then doubled them last season before winning at home last autumn.

Ipswich Witches begin their 2011 speedway season on March 17 and have their practice day next Wednesday.

Links have always been strong between the two major Ipswich sporting clubs as they are in Birmingham where Elite League newcomers Brummies will have their number one rider Krzysztof Kasprzak officially signing his contract at half-time during Birmingham City’s Premier League derby clash against West Brom on Saturday lunchtime.

Brummies and former Mildenhall boss Graham Drury said: “We’re sure it will create a lot of interest and it’s a great way to spread the word about speedway.”

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