Calamitous defending reached a ‘new level’, admits Jewell after Leeds defeat

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell admits his side somehow managed to take their trademark calamitous defending to ‘a new level’ during their 3-1 defeat at Leeds.

The Blues were 1-0 and cruising against the lacklustre hosts before a rush of blood to the head saw keeper Alex McCarthy dismissed for handling outside his area in the 71st minute.

Glaring errors from Ibrahima Sonko, replacement keeper Arran Lee-Barrett and Tommy Smith then gifted Leeds three goals.

Town have now dropped an incredible 21 points from winning positions this season, with late individual errors continuing to be their downfall.

A frustrated Jewell was left scratching his head at the end, saying: “I think we were in control of the game until… Well I don’t what the goalkeepers (Alex McCarthy and Arran Lee-Barrett) were doing.

“You had to be here and see it to believe it really.

“For 70 minutes, or whatever it was, we’ve restricted Leeds to very few chances and then one long ball and our goalkeeper (McCarthy) decides to handle outside the box.

Most Read

“With 10 men we’re always going to be up against it, but to then give the goals away in the fashion that we did was just calamitous. I know I’ve said it so many times this season but today was just another level.”

He continued: “There was so much we did well today, we were good in all departments up until bad decision making by Alex (McCarthy) and (Ibrahima) Sonko.

“If you look at the red card it’s a clearance that’s got to be dealt with, the first goal is an error from Sonks, the second goal is a long ball the keeper (Lee-Barrett) should collect, while the third we allow to just bounce on the edge of our box.

“That’s why we are where we are isn’t it?”

He added: “Having said that I thought Tommy (Smith) did well and as a team we didn’t look in danger for 70 minutes.

“Leeds were getting frustrated, we passed the ball better than them, we created more opportunities and looked in control of the match.

“We were dictating the tempo of the game, but the gifts we give to them... They just haven’t had to work hard for their goals at all. It’s the same old story.

“As a manager there are certain things you can affect, but there are certain things that have happened to today that are just bad, bad decisions.

“I’ll always take responsibility because I pick the team, but when people see the goals on TV they will scratch their head.

“It wasn’t even as if we were coming under severe pressure, it was just one long ball that our centre-half is going to deal with and for some reason Alex just decided to charge out.

“It’s just a catalogue of errors.”

Asked if he was any nearer to strengthening his squad – which has now taken just eight points from a possible 45 – Jewell said: “The latest is that the three offers we have made have all been rejected, but we will be trying to bring in players there’s no doubt about that.

“I don’t know if we will increase our offers yet. We’ll have to see how far we are from the valuation of the players that we are after.

“We’ve made lots of enquires and we are pursuing lots of players.”

Asked if he had given up hope on signing Leicester defender Sean St Ledger, he added: “He’s in their team now so, certainly for the time being, I can’t see that happening.”