Lee Martin praises Town team spirit as best he’s known

LEE Martin has hailed the team spirit of Paul Jewell’s young guns as the best he has known in his three seasons at the club.

Ipswich Town might not possess one of the biggest squads in the Championship but it is definitely a case of small, but beautiful, for Martin.

While Town fans remain concerned about the lack of new additions and the fear that an injury to a key player could change everything, the 25-year-old believes the unity in the Town ranks is a big reason behind their promising start to the season.

Martin said: “There is a now a massive togetherness in the squad that I have not known since I joined three years ago.

“The boys are pulling through and in the last 20 minutes of games, we are on top – whether that is down to fitness or that little bit extra belief.

“I think because we have a smaller squad, it is naturally easier to get to know everyone. Before we had a lot of loan players who were probably playing for themselves rather than each other.”

Martin has endured difficult times at Portman Road, first failing to impress Roy Keane – the man who signed him for around �1.5million before sending him out to then-lower league Charlton Athletic on loan.

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But the former Manchester United man was recalled when Paul Jewell took charge and his fortunes changed.

The Blues boss pushed Martin into his favoured central role and he has since flourished – becoming a key player and now one of the most experienced members of Jewell’s young squad.

With negotiations continuing over an extended deal, Martin has made it clear that he wants to remain part of what he feels is a bright future as he enters the final year of his deal. And he has nothing but praise for Jewell’s new youthful policy.

He said: “The young boys have done well and they are hungry to show what they can do. Massimo (Luongo) has come in and done well, Lukey (Hyam) is another one. We are a young squad with an average age of something like 24 and everyone wants to work together – that is the only way you are going to have success.”