Paul Jewell looking to the future with his signings
PAUL Jewell believes he is finally starting to stop the short-term thinking that has engulfed Ipswich Town.
The huge turnover of players in and out of Portman Road have been an unwelcome feature in recent seasons – with Jewell himself signing 13 players last season.
But the captures of Elliott Hewitt and Luke Chambers represent a sea change in transfer policy at the club and also proof that the Blues boss is building from the back.
While the signing of a new number one goalkeeper remains a priority, Jewell’s back four of the future reads Hewitt, Chambers, Tommy Smith and Aaron Cresswell – though Carlos Edwards and Damien Delaney will have something to say about that.
The Town boss said: “Since I have been here, there has been a constant change and turnover of players.
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“We might have to use one or two loan players but we want youngsters like Elliott Hewitt, Aaron Cresswell, Josh Carson and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas to be here for a long time.
“We have been trying to have a quick fix but they are something to build on.
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“It is about time, from my point of view, we start looking a bit further forward than just one season.”
While Edwards is expected to start the season at right-back and also captain, the fact Jewell has handed 18-year-old Hewitt the No. 2 shirt suggests he wants the Wales Under-21 international to fight for a first-team shirt in the months ahead.
The manager said: “We have decided to really try and improve the squad from a young age.
“We think Elliott will be a very good player although he is not going to be fit until late August, maybe September.
“We have watched him six or seven times last year, we watched him for Wales Under-21s, and he has impressed me an awful lot. He is only 18 but he is going to be a good player for the future.”