Why Jewell dropped Chopra and Scotland

IPSWICH Town boss Paul Jewell has today lifted the lid on his shock decision to drop goalscoring duo Michael Chopra and Jason Scotland at the weekend.

There was surprise all-round at Portman Road on Saturday when the Town manager – having named the same starting XI throughout a six-game unbeaten run – decided to relegate both strikers to the bench.

The decision to leave out two players with eight goals between them this season was brought into further question after the hosts fell to a lacklustre 1-0 defeat against Crystal Palace.

However, in an exclusive interview with The Evening Star, Jewell has today shed more light on the selection.

It transpires that both forwards have missed large chunks of training in recent weeks due to a combination of minor injuries and off-field problems.

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“To outsiders it might have been a surprise to drop the front two perhaps, but when I pick a team I’m doing so knowing more facts than most people,” said the Blues boss, whose side travel to Millwall for a Championship fixture on Saturday.

“Chops has missed a lot of training – in fact he’s only really been playing matches of late. It’s the same with Jason, he’s missed a lot of training too.

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“Both of them have been carrying little problems with their hamstrings and backs which we’ve been trying to manage. And like all people, footballers have problems in life away from work, too.”

Jewell, who described the latter as ‘personal family issues’, continued: “Like I said, I see the players every day and I know more than most. I just felt they both looked a little bit jaded and it was better that they started on the bench.

“Whether that was the right or wrong decision, it doesn’t matter now.

“I made my decision and I stick by it because I felt it was the right thing to do for the team.”

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