We will have to be at our best to beat “big and powerful” Wolves warns Paul Jewell
Ipswich v Wolverhampton: Paul Jewell has cast an envious glance at Wolves’ front two – claiming any Championship team would be lucky to have Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Doyle.
The Town boss pinpointed the twin dangers of tonight’s opponents at Portman Road (7.45pm ko) who will go head-to-head against the Blues’ only recognised centre-backs in Tommy Smith and Luke Chambers.
But Jewell, who was at Molineux on Sunday to watch Wolves beat Leicester 2-1, believes the physical presence of Wolves all over the park makes them dangerous adversaries.
He said: “They are big and powerful and they are dangerous at set-pieces which is vitally important in this league.
“They have got Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Doyle, front players who would get into any team in the Championship and arguably some Premier League teams.
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“It is going to be a tough game, it is one we can win, but we have to be somewhere near our best.
“On any given day, we can compete (with anyone). There is no doubt that we are a couple of players short, but I do believe we have the nucleus of a good squad to move forward.”
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Jewell has been fortunate that the Town treatment room has been a relatively quiet place thus far with Luke Chambers and Paul Taylor shaking off minor knocks ahead of tonight’s match.
Guirane N’Daw visibly tired near the end at the Riverside, but that was to be expected on his full debut for Town – and Jewell said nothing to suggest the midfield powerhouse would not keep his place.
But he could have a new partner in the engine room with Massimo Luongo primed to take the place of Andy Drury, who was to blame for Boro’s first goal but did little wrong thereafter.
With the lack of options at the back ruling out any changes there, Jewell’s biggest dilemma will be at the other end of the pitch.
He somewhat surprisingly swapped Lee Martin and Paul Taylor, positionally, on Saturday and reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.
But with Martin struggling out wide and Taylor and Michael Chopra surely the smallest forward-line in the Championship, Jewell might once again make a change or two.
It might well be that Chopra, out-of-sorts at the Riverside, finds himself in danger of missing out.
Ipswich likely line-up (4-4-2): Loach; Edwards, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell; Martin, Luongo, N’Daw, Murphy; Taylor, Chopra