Town have only suffered one worse home league season
PAUL Jewell knows that he has to solve the problem that has seen Ipswich Town suffer their second worst home record this season.
The only time they lost more than 10 matches at Portman Road in one league campaign was in 1994/95 when they suffered 13 defeats – winning just five and drawing three in a season they were relegated from the Premiership with George Burley taking over from John Lyall on Boxing Day 1994.
If Preston were to win the final home Championship 2010/11 fixture at Portman Road tomorrow (kick-off 3pm) it would be the 11th league reverse on home soil of the campaign.
“We don’t have a great home record,” agreed Jewell. “It is something that we have to put right using players we have got here already and those we want to bring in during the summer.
“We want to get a result for our fans tomorrow and send them home looking forward positively to next season in the knowledge that we will be making signings that will add to their enthusiasm in the summer.
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“The last two games have been a huge disappointment, but has not told me anything I did not know already and we must look at the bigger picture and be pleased with what this group of players have achieved to lift the club into mid-table.”
Jewell will be missing Gareth McAuley (groin tear) and Darren O’Dea (ankle knock) and there are big doubts about Jimmy Bullard (fluid on the knee and shoulder problem) and Connor Wickham (ribs).
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“Jimmy and Connor might be fit but Darren has played his last game of the season and he will be back at his parent club Celtic at least for the start of next season.
“He has never looked like a loanee and done very well for us at left back when central defence is his best position.
“He has a nasty injury, but the good thing is he doesn’t need an operation.”
Jewell did not rule McAuley out of the trip to Leicester next Saturday, but it would appear to be a long shot that the Northern Ireland international will recover in time.
“Troy Brown left the bench on Monday and will be in contention tomorrow,” added Jewell, who refused to give anything away on his team selection with Brian Murphy a possibility to play in goal.
He did say that Jaime Peters and Shane O’Connor might come into contention, but added that he had not thought about recalling Tommy Smith from his loan at Colchester United.
“If it was a crucial game for us it might well have been different however much we want to win, but I’m happy for Tommy to play for Colchester,” said Jewell.
Jewell doesn’t think Preston will come to Suffolk feeling sorry for themselves after relegation. “Manager Phil Brown’s enthusiasm will ensure that doesn’t happen.”
WHY do Town have such a poor home record this season? E-mail in your reasons to email@example.com.