Just one new signing but no need for Ipswich Town fans to panic – yet...
THE 2011/12 league season ended 40 days ago.
There is a month until pre-season officially starts for Ipswich Town and little over 10 weeks until the new campaign begins.
Never mind the Euros and the Olympics, all the Blue Army want to know is where are the new signings?
The capture of highly-rated, but raw, Elliott Hewitt was universally welcomed by Town fans but the 18-year-old could well be the club’s future, rather than the present.
Supporters are growing restless. Amid the speculation and tittle-tattle, they want news of cold, hard signings that will strengthen Paul Jewell’s first team.
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What they don’t want is to be told to be patient.
Sadly, that is the situation facing Jewell, owner Marcus Evans and fans looking for reasons to be optimistic next season.
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A few signings have already been completed in the Championship and Jewell has missed out on Joel Ward and, to a lesser extent, Jason Pearce and Joe Lewis.
That is not the blame of the manager or anyone in the negotiations, just a simple sign that Ipswich are not going to be able to sign everyone they go for.
Barely a day goes by where Jewell is not fielding calls from agents, scrutinising the free transfer list or looking to tie down early deals under the radar.
The silence, at times, can be painful but far better to do it that way than alert rival clubs of a player’s availability.
It remains very early days in the transfer market, even for a club that is expecting a busy summer. An estimated six to eight players are needed by Jewell with the biggest priorities – in goal and in the centre of defence – remaining a big worry.
As is the size of the squad, just 21, which includes schoolboy Byron Lawrence and Jaime Peters and Nathan Ellington, a duo who might not even be at the club come August.
But while the manager, like the fans, would want to see transfers brought in nice and early, it rarely happens.
The signings will come. But patience will have to be a virtue.
If the season started today...
First XI (4-2-3-1): Lee-Barrett; Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell; Hyam, Drury; JET, Martin, Carson; Chopra.
Reserve XI (4-4-2): ???; Hewitt, Ainsley, ???, Whight; ???, Bullard, Stevenson, Lawrence; Scotland, Ellington.
Players left: Peters, Murray