Kennedy set to replace suspended Cresswell

MARK Kennedy appears to be in pole position to take suspended left-back Aaron Cresswell’s place in the Ipswich Town team.

The latter has, self-admittedly, taken even himself by surprise such has been the ease with which he’s made the step up from League One club Tranmere this season.

His record as the Town’s only player to have started all 14 of league and cup games in the 2011/12 campaign will come to an end at Millwall on Saturday though following his stoppage-time red-card in the 1-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace at the weekend.

With the Liverpudlian serving a one-game ban for his double yellow card dismissal, Jewell will be forced into making at least one change to a back-line which also has injury concerns surrounding Ibrahima Sonko (hamstring) and Damien Delaney (foot).

“It’s unfortunate that we lose Aaron, but that means there’s a place up for grabs,” said the Blues boss.

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“I started thinking about the situation as soon as the game finished on Saturday. I’ve got a few things in my head about selection, but I’ve said on numerous occasions that I’m a big believer in picking the team based on how training goes.”

Mark ‘Sparky’ Kennedy would be a natural replacement, the 35-year-old having spent most of his career at left-back.

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And while the veteran is unlikely to be bombing forward and providing the attacking width that the Blues’ narrow system relies upon at present, he proved he is reliable as ever at the start of the season with a string of impressive displays in a holding midfield role.

At the other end of the scale is highly-rated 17-year-old academy product Joe Whight, while another option would be to try on-loan Manchester City teenager Reece Wabara – a speedy right-back – there.

“Joe’s not ready for the first team yet,” said Jewell. “We think he is going to be a good player, but he needs a bit more experience.

“There’s options, but we’ve got to look back on what’s worked for us. The system has been good and the balance has been good with a left-footer on that side.

“Mark (Kennedy) knows the game, he’s experienced, he was a key player for us last year and started the season well.”

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