Jimmy: 'I'm the Juan that you want'

PATIENCE is a virtue that Jimmy Juan and his family know is worthwhile.The French midfielder is desperate to make his first start for The Blues while his 30-year-old cousin Franck Jurietti made his World Cup debut for Les Bleus on Wednesday night.

By Derek Davis

PATIENCE is a virtue that Jimmy Juan and his family know is worthwhile.

The French midfielder is desperate to make his first start for The Blues while his 30-year-old cousin Franck Jurietti made his World Cup debut for Les Bleus on Wednesday night.

His record-breaking, five-second debut towards the end of France's 4-0 victory over Cyprus, in the Stade De France in front of 80,000, ended an 11-year wait for Jurietti, who was at AS Monaco with younger cousin Juan.


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The on-loan midfielder was delighted for his relative, who now plies his trade at Bordeaux, and hopes he can watch him and his country in the finals in Germany next year.

Juan said: “It was wonderful for Franck to get his first game after waiting so long. He is a very good player and it would be wonderful if he were to play in Germany for France. Perhaps he can get me some tickets if we play England.”

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But more importantly for Juan right now is to make that elusive first Championship start for Ipswich after seven substitute appearances and one Carling Cup outing from the kick-off.

He said: “I feel I'm now ready to start if the manager chooses. I feel more involved now, knowing the language better, and, having adjusted to the English style and the way we play here in Ipswich, I play better.

“It is not all new any more and I feel good about playing.

“Even if I come off the bench I will always give my all for the team.

“I'm enjoying myself here and hope to play more and more and help the team to promotion.”

The 24-year-old arrived in England from Monaco in time to see Ipswich go ahead at the Madejski Stadium only to have two of those points snatched from them seconds later and Juan has a healthy respect for Reading.

He said: “I have seen them on television and I arrived in January and saw the game when Ipswich scored in the 90th minute but then Reading scored afterwards to make it 1-1.

“They are a very good team as is shown by the table. They have had a very good start to the season and they will be a hard team to break down.”

After spending the latter half of last season on loan at Town but playing mainly in the reserves, Juan has developed through the summer after agreeing a further one-year loan spell but feels he is only now really getting used to the new culture.

Surprisingly, one thing he has relished after the sunshine of southern France, is the English weather.

He said: “I love playing in the rain. This weather is better for football than a midday sun in the south of France when it is too hot.

“The football here is a lot different than in France. It is quicker and more physical with a lot more contact. This is especially true of the Championship but the first thing I noticed when I came to Ipswich was how they liked to play football through the midfield instead of a lot of Championship teams who go to the long ball.

“This suits me because I like to play simple passing football and keep the game tidy. I try not to lose the ball and try to make an impact in the game.”

The tall, slim, likeable midfielder has made many friends at the club, especially Ian Westlake, Sito Castro and Sam Parkin, who help him understand the banter in the dressing room. His English teacher Nicky has taught him well and the language is becoming less of a barrier.

Juan added: “When we are on the pitch we all speak the same language.

“Off it I understand the humour and enjoy it. All changing rooms are like that, it is the same sort of jokes. In the mornings everyone is laughing and joking. Sometimes I understand the jokes; if not, I ask Westy or Sito and they explain.”

Juan is now patiently preparing for an English winter and has invited his family over in December so they can experience their first Christmas over here.

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