Town youngsters would be ‘unlucky’ to get dropped at Leeds claims boss

IPSWICH manager Paul Jewell has dropped his broadest hint yet that he is ready to back his babes again for the visit of Leeds United tomorrow.

Town were unfortunate to draw 2-2 at Blackpool last Saturday with a starting line-up boasting an average age of under 25 years old.

The Portman Road faithful warmed to the energy and spirit shown by the young guns including Tommy Smith, Luke Hyam, Josh Carson and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

Now Jewell has a big headache with Grant Leadbitter and Damien Delaney training this week and Jimmy Bullard fully recovered from his illness.

The manager said: “I think every week is a hard selection. I thought the young lads – not just them, the older lads too – certainly didn’t do themselves any harm against Blackpool.

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“If they don’t play on Saturday, having played last weekend, they can count themselves unlucky.”

Jewell and Town fans alike will also be relieved by the news that Jason Scotland has trained since he limped off during his man-of-the-match performance against Blackpool.

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The 32-year-old is just four league starts away from earning a new contract on the same wages – as agreed when he signed for the club in August 2010.

And Jewell said: “There’s no way I wouldn’t play Jason. The only reason I wouldn’t play him is because of football reasons.

“I’ve had a chat with him and there’s no problem there. He’s done smashing. He’s in good shape and he’s probably working as hard now as he has for a while.”

* Meanwhile, former Town loanees Danny Collins and Keith Andrews have both been linked with moves to Premier League clubs, Bolton and Wigan respectively.

With regards to the Blackburn midfielder, Town’s current top scorer, Jewell admitted: “Marcus spoke with his agent during the week.

“I keep on getting different stories – that Blackburn want a fee, or they do want him to play, or that he’s met with Wigan. We’re up against it a little bit there.”

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