MANAGER’S REACTION: Chris Hutchings hails contribution of Lee Martin after Town beat West Ham

Ipswich v West Ham: He may only have played 45 minutes following a stop-start pre-season.

But Lee Martin did enough in the first half of this afternoon’s 3-1 win over West Ham to suggest he could be a key player for Ipswich Town this season.

Just days after Paul Jewell revealed talks had begun with the former Manchester United man over a new contract, the attacker showed the Blues what they had been missing with a typically energetic display.

Speaking after the match, Town assistant boss Chris Hutchings singled out Martin for particular praise.

Hutchings said: “Lee Martin, playing his first competitive game, did very well. We know he can do that, as he did in that position (behind Michael Chopra) last season. That was a plus.

“He was rested at half-time – that was his first 45 minutes so it was more precautionary.”

A dominant display against the Premier League newcomers, just days after successive friendly defeats to Luton and Southend, clearly delighted Paul Jewell’s number two.

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Hutchings added: “It was a very good workout against a strong West Ham side – we are obviously very pleased with the 90 minutes we put in.

“Don’t read too much into it, but we wanted to get certain things out of it and I felt we did that today.

“We had a very young side out there today and we got all our subs on which took the age limit down even more.”

For the third consecutive match, Spurs loanee Massimo Luongo came in for positive words from the management – the midfielder also enjoying a good ovation from inside Portman Road after being substituted for Cheick Kourouma in the second half.

“Massimo did very well and showed what a good player he is,” Hutchings said. “We have tried him in a three and a two (in centre midfield). We look at different formations and Luke Hyam has come back into the side. They were all positives today.”

Hutchings revealed that Andy Drury continues to be troubled by a calf injury and hinted he was a doubt for the Blues’ first competitive match – against Bristol Rovers in the first round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday week.

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