Mowbray expects Town to surge up the table

TONY Mowbray fully expects Ipswich Town’s highly-paid team to surge up the Championship table after watching his former club come mightily close to ending his Middlesbrough side’s unbeaten start to the season on Saturday.

And Blues boss Paul Jewell – slightly disappointed with a 0-0 draw at the Riverside after his side missed some gilt-edged chances – agrees there is a lot more to come from his new-look team, who look to have turned a corner following an inconsistent start.

“They have obviously improved from their Peterborough (7-1 away loss) and Southampton (5-2 home defeat) experiences having made some changes,” said Mowbray, whose play-off final header against Barnsley helped the Blues gain their last promotion to the Premier League in 2000.

“Their midfield four has got a lot of Premier League experience, there are a lot of talented footballers there and on paper they have every right to be at the top end of the table and pushing for promotion.

“I can’t say whether they are going to be great or not because we’ve only had eight games. What I can say is that they have made some signings, spent some money and generally spending money normally equates to a better league position.”

Jewell, who has handed out lucrative contracts to the likes of Jimmy Bullard, Lee Bowyer and Michael Chopra while Mowbray has been charged with the task of reducing a bloated wage bill this summer, said: “I thought we acquitted ourselves very well. We’re a new team only eight games into the new season and it’s still a work in progress.

“Jimmy’s missed pre-season, so did (Ibrahima) Sonko; Bowyer’s catching up, Daryl Murphy and Keith Andrews too.

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“There are a lot of players in our team that are getting fitter by the game and that’s very encouraging.”