IT is often said that journalists are quick to criticise - and there was times last season I thought the writing was on the wall of Mr Jewell.

So now is the time to credit the gaffer.

Paul Jewell has worked tirelessly under the radar this summer to get the players he wants and, most importantly, for the right price.

It started well with promising Welsh Under-21 right-back Elliott Hewitt but has moved on to a whole new level of optimism following the signings of Luke Chambers and Scott Loach.

Last season was ruined by defensive collapses and calamatious individual errors and you would hope Chambers and Loach will both help eradicate that.

The spine is strengthening but judging by the performances in Holland, one current player remains key  - step forward Jimmy Bullard.

Town need to be hard to beat in the months ahead, but ultimately they need someone who can pick a pass and keep the ball, especially if Michael Chopra continues to be asked to run lone forays upfront.

Against Helmond Sport on Tuesday, Town improved greatly when Bullard came on at half-time. Not every pass was perfect and his fitness needs work. But he showed more than a sprinkling of promise that there is life in the old dog yet.

He then got 90 minutes in last night's 1-1 draw with Den Bosch and again was better than most.

Jewell has a serious dilemma in how and where to play Bullard, last night's partnership with Luke Hyam offered hope, but the simple truth is that he remains Town's most creative weapon.

Right now, Bullard is the only person who can dictate play and possession. Someone joked recently he could be Town's Andrea Pirlo.

While joker Jimmy's hopes of leading his country to an European Championship final are behind him, he has the technical ability to lead Ipswich the way Pirlo leads Italy.

Just two things stand in his way: His head and his legs. Only Jimmy can sort out the first one and every Town fan will be hoping he still has the latter.

It has been a great couple of weeks for the Blues but they remain desperately short of a creative influence in the middle of the park. Jimmy, over to you.