Sonko playing on adrenaline
IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell was full of praise for Ibrahima Sonko after the centre-back lifted himself off the treatment table to play a crucial role in securing a valuable goalless draw at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
The Senegalese defender didn’t have a club over the summer after being released by Stoke and undertook a limited pre-season as a result.
Niggling injuries have seen the 31-year-old limited to just a handful of training sessions since he arrived at the Blues on a free transfer a month ago to the day.
He has got through games on adrenaline though, passing a late fitness test on the jarred knee which forced him off in the first half of last Monday’s 3-0 home win over Coventry, to put in a typically battling display at the Riverside at the weekend.
And while he was visibly tired at the end, his willingness to fight for the cause clearly inspired those around him.
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“He had a fitness test on Friday before training with us,” said Jewell. “In fact he’s played more matches for us than he’s had training sessions!
“He’d deserves a lot of credit because he was obviously out on his feet at the end, getting a bit deep and a bit stretched, but he defended manfully.”
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The Blues – who leaked 12 goals in two nightmare games against Southampton and Peterborough in August – look far more solid with Sonko and Stoke loanee Danny Collins in the heart of defence and have now recorded back-to-back clean sheets.
“It sounds obvious, but you don’t lose matches if you’re keeping clean sheets,” said Jewell.
“They had a couple of opportunities second half, but it wasn’t as if our keeper was making save after save.
“Hopefully we can keep this little mini run going now with two clean sheets and lots of chances being created going forward.”