Few successful League climbing signings have been made during the 31 days of January, but Paul Jewell is hoping his Ipswich side can make two; to re-enforce his goal-leaking defence and climb The Championship table.
He does have food for thought; his side have conceded 47 goals so far this season. Leaving the Tractor Boys 12 points from the last play-off place and languishing in 19th position. Town`s defensive problems put them in the company of League 1 Chesterfield (conceded 45 goals) and League 2 teams Northampton Town, Bristol Rovers, AFC Wimbledon and Barnet (conceded 48, 47, 46 and 45 respectively) making Town one of the worst defences in the Football League; which seems to show an act of contempt to the loyal support of the fans of the court at Portman Road.
Paul Jewell admits on the Ipswich website that strengthening his team could prove difficult in the pot-luck that is the January transfer window:
“I think we need to bring players in but whether we can get the players in that we want, is something else […]We have, and will be, trying to bring the right players into the Football Club but whether we can do that, I’m not 100% sure at the minute”
Jewell isn’t afraid to make impact signings, at the start of the season he brought in players Jimmy Bullard, Lee Bowyer, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Michael Chopra to the Ipswich fold. Even though on paper these player look like names in a promotion pushing side, their “calamitous” defending as described by Paul Jewell in the recent defeat to Nottingham Forest seems to be the main mitigating factor which has left them in the predicament they are in.
In Monday’s defeat to fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest, they assisted in helping Forest put an end to a 10-hour, 7 game goal drought which had been going on since the 19th of November. This seemed to the fans as one of the final nails in the coffin of Jewell’s reign, but I feel this seems to emphasise the problem Jewell wishes to hurriedly fix and within the January window should be given the chance to do to.
Ipswich now defeated in five of the last six homes games seemingly are desperate for a “get out of jail free” card, Whether Paul Jewell can provide one, in finding what he is looking for in the smash and grab raid that is the January window, avoid the arrest of relegation by amending Ipswich Town`s defensive frailties and even make a late steal of a presently distant play-off place, well… the court is still out and even though Town’s Chief Executive Simon Clegg said yesterday Jewell’s job is safe (whatever that means in these managerial trigger happy days) the fan’s judgement may still be passed at the end of the season; Great Escape or not.