We have 20 scouts watching games – Jewell

PAUL Jewell has revealed the extent of his scouting network as Ipswich Town look to find the best the lower leagues have to offer.

Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Blackpool has ensured the present is rather worrying for supporters, but the Blues boss already has one eye on the future as he looks to add youth to an experienced squad that consists of a dozen 30-somethings.

And Jewell admitted that he has anything up to 20 scouts watching matches up and down the country – and beyond – to guarantee Town are in the hunt for the best youngsters.

He said: “We are always looking to improve and always looking for that next player from the lower leagues. We have about 20 games covered every Saturday. It is important to try and keep your finger on the pulse of the players coming through the lower leagues and even below.”

The Ipswich manager is regularly spotted at other matches and will surely spend this Saturday on the look-out for potential signings with Ipswich hosting Coventry City on Monday night.

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It is this attention to detail that saw little-known Aaron Cresswell arrive at Portman Road this summer while Jewell also ventured into non-league football for Andy Drury from Luton Town.

“I go to lots of games – I like to try to get to as many as possible,” Jewell said. “That is part of the job I really enjoy. But I find it more difficult here because of the geography. When I was at Wigan or Derby, I could be anywhere within a couple of hours.”

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The defeat at Blackpool was Town’s fifth in six league and cup matches – leaving the manager with plenty to ponder before the Sky television cameras once again turn the spotlight on the Blues.

But while there will be a great deal of soul-searching among both manager and players this week, Jewell will not give up planning for the future.

He explained: “I am thinking about getting players beyond this season. We all know in football it is about the short term, but I think you have to try and get some young and hungry players to add to our squad.

“We have got some experienced players here and experience is a key factor. But we do need an influx in the future of young, strong, athletic type players that have got the desire.”

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