Paul Jewell doesn’t have his favourites, says number two Chris Hutchings

IPSWICH TOWN’S misfiring big names are not guaranteed a starting spot against Reading on Saturday.

That is the clear message today as Paul Jewell ponders changes ahead of the weekend’s crucial Championship clash with the Blues looking to end a dire run of four straight defeats.

And with the likes of Jimmy Bullard and skipper Grant Leadbitter struggling for form, Jewell’s number two Chris Hutchings has admitted there are no favourites when it comes to team selection.

Hutchings said: “No one is guaranteed a place – we have to make that abundantly clear. A few weeks back, we changed the front two. Sometimes it might surprise a few people but the manager and the staff will do what we think is right for the team.

“It is about getting people who are on form, believing in their ability and playing to their potential – which is the most important thing.”

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Jewell yesterday watched a Town reserve side beat West Ham 3-2 in a behind-closed doors friendly with Reece Wabara, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Nathan Ellington starting alongside the returning Daryl Murphy, who played 45 minutes.

15-year-old Byron Lawrence and Icelandic Teddy Bjarnason, the former Celtic player currently on trial with Town, also lined up in midfield but it was 20-year-old Ronan Murray who stole the show with a brace before setting up Ellington for the third.

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And speaking yesterday morning, Hutchings said: “For the squad players, it is very important, even those who have been in and around the first team to keep match fit, so if they are required they can perform and keep the shirt.

“If they haven’t got a shirt, how do they get it? They have to show it on the training ground and in these type of matches. That is where the manager is watching and they have to impress him.”

Meanwhile, Hutchings has refused to rule out Town dipping into the loan market again before tomorrow’s 5pm deadline.

He said: “Things don’t happen overnight, but we are not saying no. If we feel the right person comes along and can improve us, then we would like to act.”

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