'Selection is down to the manager' - Town CEO Ashton on Norwood's absence

James Norwood in action against West Ham U21s.

James Norwood is understood to be on the transfer list at Ipswich Town - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

Ipswich Town CEO Mark Ashton has rubbished suggestions James Norwood’s absence from the club’s first-team is at the order of the Blues’ hierarchy. 

Norwood hasn’t played for the Ipswich first-team since the start of October, dropping to train with the club’s Under 23s and, it's understood, made available for transfer. He played and scored for the Ipswich youngsters in their 3-3 draw with Charlton yesterday. 

The striker hinted on social media, in the wake of Paul Cook’s sacking, that the decision whether or not to play him was taken out of the former manager’s hands.  

“Gutted to see the gaffer go,” he tweeted. “We have a great relationship on and off the field. He was up against it for a multitude of reasons this season and I genuinely wish him the best in the future. 

“For anyone thinking this isn’t genuine, you’re wrong. Me and the gaffer spoke every day and we had no issues whatsoever and never had a fallout. He’s a top man and we got on very well and had a laugh. Like I said, his hands were tied.” 

But Ashton has stressed that incoming interim boss John McGreal and any future manager of the club has the final say over team selection. 

“100%,” Ashton said, when asked if McGreal is free to select the striker for this evening’s game at Charlton should he wish. 

“Any manager I’ve worked with, it’s their team. “100%. Selection is down to the manager.” 

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Norwood, a summer signing from Tranmere in the summer of 2018, has finished as Ipswich’s top scorer in each of his two full seasons with the club, netting 11 goals in each campaign despite struggling with injuries. 

His contract expires this summer, with Ipswich understood to be happy for him to leave in January. 

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