Not enough Ipswich Town players care about losing says Blues loan midfielder Richie Wellens

THE next manager at Portman Road has been left in no doubt about the full extent of the troubles he will face in turning the club around.

We understand owner Marcus Evans and chief executive Simon Clegg are nearing the interview stage with Mick McCarthy and Alan Curbishley remaining favourites and Ian Holloway’s name rumoured to be in the frame, among others.

But whoever the new man is, he will confront a dressing room rocked by a scathing attack from loanee Richie Wellens following Saturday’s abysmal 3-0 home defeat by fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.

The outspoken midfielder, one of eight current loanees in the squad, said: “The new manager needs to come in and put a rocket up a few backsides.

“There is not enough people here, for me, that care about losing a game of football, their careers and care about football in general.

“One of the coaches said the manager (Jewell) got a bit of stick for bringing in so many loan players.

“But it is actually loan players who care – which is a sad indictment of the players that are already here, if that is the case.”

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Wellens signed for Ipswich on a one-month loan deal in a bid to improve his match fitness before he returns to Leicester City and swaps a relegation fight with a promotion bid.

But his competitive streak has seen him lift the lid on the apparent unrest at the club – following reports that Lee Martin argued with a fan as he walked off the pitch on Saturday.

He added: “It would be the easier thing for me to just let the games pass me by and then go back.

“But I am a professional and I care about my football. I have come here, played four games and lost four – and that hurts me.

“I’ll go home, not speak to the wife – it ruins my weekend. That is the way every footballer should be, but I don’t see that.”

* For the rest of this explosive interview, buy today’s EADT and Ipswich Star