Town star admits players are more content under the management of Jewell

DAMIEN Delaney, who is expected to confirm this week that he will be signing his new contract offer, has indicated that Ipswich Town players are more content at Portman Road under the management of Paul Jewell.

Delaney, who is due to feature in tonight’s Championship game against Middlesbrough at Portman Road (kick-off 7.45pm), was reported to have not always seen eye to eye with previous Blues boss Roy Keane.

And when asked if the players are more content working under the current manager, Delaney replied: “I think that’s definitely true.

“Things have really settled down. Under the previous manager there was an awful lot of chopping and changing with the team.

“It’s been a lot steadier with Paul Jewell. If you look at our starting line-up for the last 16 games, he hasn’t made that many changes.

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“He’s stuck with a core group of players and that’s definitely helped us, especially in the back-four.

“Roy Keane was obviously searching for a winning formula but the problem with that was that there were several changes for every game.

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“He wasn’t able to find that formula, which then led to even more chopping and changing.

“The way Paul Jewell has settled things down has really benefitted us and I think that’s shown.”

Delaney’s recent form for Ipswich earned him a recall to the Republic of Ireland squad at the end of last month and he made a 75th minute cameo appearance to win his third cap in the 3-2 home friendly defeat by Uruguay.

“There’s a big qualifier in Macedonia coming up in the summer and I’d love to be involved in it,” added Delaney.

Jewell could well bring Lee Martin back in his side tonight after completing a two-match ban. Jason Scotland would perhaps be the favourite to drop out with Connor Wickham up front on his own.

“Lee comes back into consideration,” said Jewell.

“He has trained very well since he’s been out suspended. I will be seriously considering the team, as I do every game.

“Just because you have won, it doesn’t mean to say that automatically the team picks itself.

“I’m not one making huge changes for the sake of it, but if something needs to be changed then I will do it.

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Tonight’s likely squads

Ipswich Town: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, McAuley, Delaney, Kennedy, Carson, Leadbitter, Norris, Bullard, Martin, Wickham, Scotland, Fulop, Peters, O’Dea, Drury, Healy, Civelli, Hyam, O’Connor.

Middlesbrough: Smith, Bates, Taylor, McManus, McMahon, Hines, Williams, Bennett, Bailey, McDonald, Emnes, Arca, Halliday, Tavares, Smallwood, Kink, Coyne, Davies. Grounds, Zemmama, Robson, Thomson.

Referee: Mr M P Russell (Hertfordshire)

Ipswich home league record against Middlesbrough

P25 W16 D4 L5 F45 A22

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