Paul Jewell hopes Joe Whight will come good next season
IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell has a left-back conundrum going into the final game of the Championship campaign.
Aaron Cresswell has started all but one game in that position this season, but is unavailable for Saturday’s trip to Doncaster after suffering a hamstring injury during Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to Millwall.
His most natural replacement would be 18-year-old Joe Whight, the former academy player having signed a professional deal last summer.
However, while many supporters are keen to see youth given a chance at weekend, it looks as though manager Paul Jewell will not be handing the teenager his first team debut just yet.
“I think Joe, at times this year, has found it tough,” said the Blues boss.
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“We stepped him up from a scholar to a pro and he will be better when he comes back next year – as he will know what is expected.
“We have high hopes for Joe. Sometimes it happens with young players, but he hasn’t really got into a rhythm; whether in training or matches for the youth team or reserves.
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“He hasn’t really lived up to expectations but I am sure, with a year under his belt and knowing what it is like to be a pro, Joe will be much better and hopefully pushing Cressie to get into the team.”
Centre-back Damien Delaney shifted to left-back when Cresswell limped off at the weekend, with Ibrahima Sonko – who Jewell has confirmed will be released this summer – coming on in the middle.
Moving right-back Carlos Edwards to the left and starting youngster Jack Ainsley at right-back is another option, though the 21-year-old hasn’t made a first team appearance since the 7-1 defeat at Peterborough last August.
Veteran Mark Kennedy filled in for Cresswell when he was suspended for the 4-1 home defeat to Millwall last October, though the 35-year-old is hanging up his boots this summer to become a coach at the club.