No Dutch delight for Ipswich’s tour party
IPSWICH TOWN: The hard work starts now.
That is the blunt message today from Blues boss Paul Jewell who has left his players in no uncertain terms what is expected of them in pre-season.
This week’s tour to the Netherlands is not some team-building jolly with the occasional football match thrown in.
Jewell expects his players, including his newest signing Lee Bowyer, to give 100 per cent in both the two friendlies and on the training field as things start getting serious with the new season less than a month away.
The manager said: “Pre-season is a time for getting people fit, it’s a time for bedding new players in, it’s a time for putting across and working on new ideas without the pressure of competitive matches.
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“But the players are in no doubt what we expect from them. That is, 100 per cent effort at all times.”
A full-strength Ipswich squad – including Bowyer who last night became Jewell’s fifth summer signing – yesterday flew out to the Netherlands where they will play FC Eindhoven tomorrow afternoon and then Den Bosch on Thursday night.
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Both opponents are in the second tier of Dutch football, but Jewell will use the mini-tour to learn more about his players, who will train every day except Tuesday.
Talking of the commitment he expects, Jewell, pictured, added: “If I get that, I’m comfortable. It’s when people drop off giving their best, that’s when things start to go wrong.
“The only way you know if you’ve had a good pre-season is if you win the first game.”
Bowyer and the other new signings Michael Chopra, Nathan Ellington, Ivar Ingimarsson and Aaron Cresswell are all expected to make their debuts in front of the intrepid Blues fans who make the trip.
n Stuart Watson is our man with the Blues in the Netherlands this week. Follow him on Twitter @Stuart_Watson