Risky Business

PAUL Jewell has admitted the likes of Gareth McAuley and David Norris hold all the cards after risking losing his key players for nothing at the end of the season.

Yesterday’s January transfer deadline was a pretty quiet affair, with the club making just one signing – Luton Town midfielder Andy Drury.

But it is the lack of activity out of the exit door which in one sense will please many supporters who feared losing key trio McAuley, Norris and also Damien Delaney – with Crystal Palace having a late �800,000 bid for the latter two rejected.

The problems could come at the end of the season with some of Jewell’s most influential stars able to leave on a free.

The manager admitted the situation was a “nightmare” which should have been avoided, but called on his out of contract players to show they are first committed to ensuring Ipswich avoid the drop – starting with tonight’s match at Derby County.

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Jewell said: “I have spoken to those two players (Norris and McAuley) as well as a couple of others and basically they don’t want to leave. I have said to them let’s see what happens, give it everything you’ve got until the end of the season, then the ball is in their court and they will hold all the cards.

“The players are all good professionals and they need to make it difficult for us not to offer them better deals than they have been offered already. If they have a brilliant end to the season, it will only benefit us – and them.”

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