‘My best days’ – Ellington

NATHAN Ellington’s best days as a footballer have been under manager Paul Jewell, so the omens are good for Ipswich Town’s newest arrival.

NATHAN Ellington’s best days as a footballer have been under manager Paul Jewell, so the omens are good for Ipswich Town’s newest arrival.

Free agent Ellington yesterday signed a two-year contract with Town, following a troubled four-year stay at Watford.

The 29-year-old front-runner therefore swells the strike-force department to six at Portman Road, joining fellow strikers Connor Wickham, Tamas Priskin, Jason Scotland, Ronan Murray and recent recruit Michael Chopra.

Ellington plundered 67 goals in 146 senior outings for Wigan Athletic between 2002 and ‘05, under Jewell, ending his stay in glorious fashion by propelling the Latics into the Premier League.

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And Jewell turned to his trusty striker again three years ago, when he was managing Derby County, by signing him on a loan deal from Watford.

It is no surprise, then, that “The Duke” Ellington is looking forward to teaming up with his favourite manager again.

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“I have a lot of faith in him (Jewell) as a manager, and he obviously has a lot of faith in me as a player,” insisted Ellington.

“He knows how to bring out the best in me. I am looking forward to working with the manager again and getting back to what I can do.

“He’s excited by the job he has here at Ipswich, and what lies in store for the club. He sold me on that, and I am very happy to be joining a big club like Ipswich.

“When you play for a club, you have to have a manager who believes in you, and I think he has believed in me the most throughout my career.

“That’s produced good football from me, winning matches for him. That’s a recipe for success.

“I have played my best football under him, definitely,” added Ellington.

The Bradford-born hit-man, who began his career at Bristol Rovers from non-league Walton & Hersham in 1999, has commanded transfer fees in excess of �7m during his career, which included a �3m switch to West Brom in 2005 and a �3.25m move to Watford four years ago.

He struggled in the Premier League for the Baggies, and failed to live up to his glowing reputation at Watford, but Ellington is convinced that Jewell is the right man to resurrect his career as a goal-scorer.

“I think he (Jewell) made a great squad at Wigan, not only on the field but also a togetherness off it, like nowhere else that I have ever been,” explained Ellington.

“He knows all the components that you need to make a successful team.

“Obviously he managed that at Wigan and he was going to recreate that at Derby, but obviously things didn’t work out exactly as he would have wanted there.”

Ellington scored nine goals during his loan spell at Derby in 2008-09, playing a big part in the Rams’ Carling Cup run to the semi-finals, and he netted twice in 18 games during a loan spell at struggling Preston during the second half of last season.

He is Town’s third signing of the summer, following in the footsteps of fellow striker Michael Chopra (from Cardiff) and Icelandic centre-half Ivar Ingimarsson (from Reading).

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