No two-man show
IPSWICH Town are more than just a two-man team.
Connor Wickham and Jimmy Bullard have been hogging the headlines in recent weeks, but manager Paul Jewell wants that to change, starting at Leeds United tomorrow.
Bullard is a big doubt for the Elland Road showdown, after failing a fitness test on a sore hamstring before Tuesday night’s 3-1 home defeat by Reading. The Hull City loanee was badly missed that night, and he might not be risked this weekend, although that will ultimately be decided by another late fitness test.
To make matters worse, Town are already without skipper and fellow midfielder David Norris, who starts the first of a two-match suspension for accruing 10 bookings, while another central midfielder, Colin Healy, is touch-and-go to return after a recent stomach muscle tear.
Wickham bagged a late consolation goal against Reading, but Jewell wants more from his whole team, rather than rely on 17-year-old wonder-kid Wickham and wily 32-year-old loanee Bullard.
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“You’ve got to be careful for it not to end up as a Jimmy Bullard saga all the time. Though having said that, it does take the pressure off Connor Wickham!” said Jewell with a wry smile yesterday.
“We missed Jimmy (against Reading), we did miss him, but we have to be better. The whole team did not perform the other night, we know that and the players know that. Yes we missed a couple of players, and our squad is stretched and a bit thin on the ground, but the players know they have got to do better,” added Jewell.
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The Town boss is desperate to sign a new midfielder on loan, before this weekend. He confirmed: “We have made a couple of inquires about Premier League players, in the middle of the park, and they have been knocked back by their managers.”
n What do you think? Are Town too reliant on Bullard and Wickham? e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org