Time to boost the ranks of the Blue Army

IPSWICH Town boss Paul Jewell wants to build Portman Road into a fortress – and he knows his side have a golden chance to recruit new members for the Blue Army which inhabits it today.

A bumper crowd of over 24,000 is expected for the visit of fifth-place Crystal Palace this afternoon thanks to a promotion which allows season ticket holders to bring up to four friends at the discounted price of �10 each.

A fifth straight home win would therefore not only potentially propel Town into the top two of the Championship, but also secure fresh support for the gruelling campaign ahead.

“We want to be playing in front of big crowds at home and the way we do that is by winning games on these sort of occasions,” said Jewell, whose side lost 2-0 to Portsmouth on the last occasion such a ticket scheme was offered.

“We need good home form because that’s the basis of anyone being successful. How many times do you hear the old clich� ‘make Portman Road a fortress’? We want it to become a place with a real party atmosphere, where the opposition don’t look forward to coming.


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“The supporters have a huge role to play.”

Jewell, who blasted his team for playing with ‘fear’ at Portman Road just over two months ago following their 5-2 thrashing by Southampton, added: “I think you can sense a change in mentality not just with the players, but with the supporters too.

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“I think they are coming to the games now because they are genuinely looking forward to it, whereas before they were probably thinking ‘I better go to the game Saturday because I’ve got my ticket’.”

– See today’s EADT and Evening Star for full match previews. For live match updates, keep an eye on this website and follow @Stuart_Watson and @davegoods on Twitter.

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