Luking good – Paul Jewell pleased with Hyam’s progress

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell is happy to give Luke Hyam an extended run in the side after the youngster caught the eye in a satisfying 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers on the opening day of the new Championship season.

One of six players aged 22 or younger that started for the Blues on Saturday, the central midfielder was not overawed by his battle with the experienced duo of Danny Murphy and Dickson Etuhu and had a big hand in Town’s fully-deserved late equaliser.

The 20-year-old former Northgate High School pupil started just seven league games in Jewell’s first full campaign in charge, but now looks set for some increased game time following the summer departures of experienced trio Grant Leadbitter, Lee Bowyer and Jimmy Bullard.

“Luke’s always been a great professional that’s hungry to play, he just hasn’t really had an opportunity if I’m being honest,” said Jewell, after Jason Lowe’s own goal eight minutes from time cancelled out Colin Kazim-Richards’ first half opener for the surprisingly defence-focused visitors.

“He’s just got to have a bit more confidence in himself, which will develop.

“It was a good ball in for the goal and we want to see more of that from him. You have to be careful not to pigeon-hole players too much at an early age.

“Nowadays you have all these fancy systems with a holding midfielder and attacking midfielder, but when I was growing up you had to attack and defend.

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“He’s not going to get loads of goals, but I think he’s got a lot more in his locker than he’s been given credit for in the past.”