Man-mountain Sonko ready to rock

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell will have no hesitation in pitching Ibrahima Sonko straight into his confidence-rocked defence for tomorrow’s visit of Leeds United.

The 30-year-old Senegalese centre-back signed for the Blues on a free transfer yesterday, having rejected the chance to join former club Reading following his release by Premier League club Stoke.

Town head into tomorrow’s match looking to stop a rot which has seen them lose four successive matches and concede 12 goals in the last two alone.

And with Ivar Ingimarsson (thigh) and Tommy Smith (suspended), it is likely that Sonko – nicknamed Superman for his gravity-defying leaps – will replace youngster Jack Ainsley after he endured a Championship debut to forget in the 7-1 humiliation at Peterborough.

Sonko’s last competitive game was just over seven months ago while on loan at Portsmouth, but Jewell says he has no reservations about pitching him straight in at the deep end.

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“Ibrahima Sonko is in fantastic condition,” said Jewell. “He’s an absolute specimen, a real man-mountain.

“He’s been training with Reading, they offered him a contract and I think Nottingham Forest were in for him too.

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“He’s been around but he’s still only 30. He’s big, powerful, strong and aggressive. He throws it further than I can kick it too, which is a weapon also. I think we all know we’ve just lacked a bit of power and a little bit of know-how at the back this season. Hopefully he can bridge that gap.”

Meanwhile, Jewell is likely to start new Celtic loanee Daryl Murphy – back at the club for a second time – on the left of midfield, with Lee Martin suspended for the next three matches.

“Daryl can play down the middle, he can play wide left and wide right too,” said the Blues boss. “We have young Emmanuel-Thomas and Josh Carson learning the game so it just gives us that bit of experience.

“I know he scored after 21 seconds on his debut here last time so hopefully he can do it again!”

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