Paul Jewell looks to build a ‘core’ at Ipswich Town

PAUL Jewell wants to make the Blues a force for the future using a settled “core” of players.

The Town boss knows he has made mistakes with his transfer policy but is determined to restore some stability after making 15 signings since the summer.

And on the back of Tuesday night’s fantastic 5-1 win over league leaders West Ham, the manager might have now realised that the future of his side is already right under his nose.

Jewell explained: “I think the best teams manage to get a core to their team and then just add to it each season. What’s happened at Ipswich is that the squad has chopped and changed over the years.

“I think everybody accepts that we need to get a settled squad and a core of seven or eight players that we can then build around.”

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Defenders Tommy Smith and Aaron Cresswell plus Luke Hyam and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas are all in their early 20s while Josh Carson is just 18 years old.

And even 24-year-old Lee Martin, new signing Ryan Stevenson, 27, and Andy Drury and Michael Chopra, both 28, are the right age to build a team around.

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While the need for a commanding centre-back, dependable right-back and long-term keeper are still on most supporters’ wish-lists, the demolition of the Hammers has returned some optimism back to Portman Road.

This season’s priority will simply be about moving away from the relegation zone, but there are signs of better times ahead.

Jewell said: “This season we have spent searching for the right formation, searching for the right formula, almost hoping something clicks.

“You don’t want to be signing 13 players every summer, you just want to be adding two or three to your group in an ideal world.”

“We need to get back to stability and having a core of players who are in the team and likely to be at the club for the next two or three years at least. I’m working on that.”

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