ARCHIVE: Paul Jewell hoping history repeats itself at Barnsley
Barnsley v Ipswich: Ironically it was a trip to Barnsley last season that preserved Paul Jewell’s status as Ipswich Town boss on a chilly December afternoon.
Frosty relations between manager and supporters had reached melting point at half-time.
Barnsley had secured four wins on the bounce, climbing up to 11th in the process, with Town hovering precariously above the dreaded dropzone; only goal difference separating them from third-bottom Nottingham Forest.
Town were on an abortive seven-game losing streak and appeared to be on the verge of chalking up another defeat with a two-goal deficit to overcome.
Little wonder then that he had jokingly asked assistant manager Chris Hutchings how to spell ‘Yours Sincerely’ in the dying embers of another disappointing opening half.
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But then the fickle nature of football was fully exposed in all its wondrous beauty for Jewell as Keith Andrews ignited a four-goal plundering spree in 23 pulsating minutes.
He proved to be the catalyst for an astounding 5-3 turnaround. He struck twice in four minutes, before Danny Collins and Michael Chopra added a third and fourth by the 70th minute.
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Man-of-the-match Jason Scotland uttered the words that epitomised the emotions of every Town fan that night: “We weren’t expecting that.”
Scotland had added a fifth by applying the finishing touches to a sparkling free-flowing move before Craig Davies ensured a nervy ending with a late consolation.
A clearly delighted Jewell, whose side moved three points clear of the relegation zone, admitted his overwhelming emotion after the match was one of relief.
“There’s just a feeling of huge relief in the dressing room. At last we can finally look forward to staying up for the Football League show,” he said.
“When you’ve been on the run we’ve been on it’s easy to feel sorry for yourself and feel like everything is going against you.
“All it comes down to is belief and determination and we showed that in abundance second half.”
Scotland added: “It has been difficult but [this] handsome margin means everyone is buzzing in the dressing room. Hopefully we can keep pushing up the table.”
He was right. From December 10 to April 28 Town scaled a further five places to 15th position.
But this time around, Town are in the relegation zone. Second-bottom and with only two victories to show from their last 13 Championship fixtures.
Certainly Jewell will be hoping history repeats itself; but there would be no escaping the irony if the scene of last year’s resurgence is the scene of a resurgence of further pressure over his position as Town manager.