‘We want to keep Grant Leadbitter,’ says Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell

GRANT Leadbitter’s future at Ipswich Town hangs in the balance.

The much-maligned midfielder struck twice in four second half minutes to earn his side a 2-2 comeback draw at Hull City on Saturday.

Last week, 74% of those polled on this newspaper’s website voted ‘no’ when asked if the Blues’ club captain should be offered a new deal when his current one expires in the summer.

And while manager Paul Jewell tentatively indicated that he would like the 26-year-old to remain at Portman Road, he quickly added that he won’t be rushing into anything just yet.

“We want to keep him – you want to keep all of your good players – but that could be out of our hands,” said the Blues boss.

“He is set to be out of contract, like three or four others are, and those players might want to see what the market is like.”

Asked about some of the criticism that has come the former Sunderland player’s way, Jewell continued: “He’s got a bit of stick off himself – I think Grant is his own biggest critic. He knows he should get more goals because he’s a good striker of the ball.

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“He’s been out of the team like a few other people, but he hasn’t moaned and groaned – he’s just got on with it. He always tries his best everyday in training.

“All the players’ attitude – regardless of their contractual situation – has been superb. That’s credit to them.”

Leadbitter limped off with what looked to be a groin injury on Saturday, with Jewell hopeful that it will just be a minor problem.