Diamond could stay, says Jewell

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell could stick with his diamond midfield for the trip to Nottingham Forest in just over a weeks’ time, insisting: ‘I have to keep believing in myself’.

The use of Jimmy Bullard as a deep-lying playmaker, with the full-backs providing the width lacking in a narrow midfield, worked to devastating effect when first deployed in the home game against Coventry back in September.

That 3-0 win in front of the Sky cameras heralded the start of a six-game unbeaten run which included superb performances at the likes of high-flying Middlesbrough, West Ham and Cardiff.

However, opponents have seemingly worked out ways to counter-act the system in recent weeks with Crystal Palace, Millwall and Doncaster all keeping Town’s passing game at arm’s length and snatching winning goals via quick, wide, attacking moves.

Ipswich were certainly much more effective in the second half against Doncaster on Saturday when Jewell switched to a more traditional 4-4-2, with wingers Josh Carson and Lee Martin helping to reduce the deficit from 3-0 to 3-2.

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The Blues boss says that doesn’t necessarily mean a change of plan for the trip to the City Ground a week on Saturday though.

“We’ve got to be careful we don’t go too over the top,” said Jewell. “What we’ve got isn’t completely shattered, it’s not completely broken.

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“What you’ve got to do in times like this is try and keep a cool head and keep believing that what you’re trying to do is right. We’re not doing too much differently to what we were doing three weeks ago, we’ve just started making basic errors and are getting punished for them.”

He continued: “Perhaps people have got wise to our system. Maybe we’ll change the system, maybe we won’t.

“I accept we played better in the second half on Saturday, but sometimes, when you’re 3-0 down, whatever you do second half is going to be better.

“People keep talking about formations, but it doesn’t matter what formation you play if people keep making silly mistakes. You could play with 12 men and still lose the game.

“Every football fan loves to question and says ‘that’s right and that’s wrong’. They’ve all got different opinions though – one guy might want 4-4-2, the person to the left of him might want 3-5-2, the next one along might like the diamond.

“That’s why I don’t read newspapers or the internet. You’ve got to have belief in your own ability and what you’re doing.

“Supporters are entitled to question formations, tactics and systems, but I’m the only one who makes these decisions without hindsight.”

He added: “It’s not the end of the world at the moment. We feel down and we feel low, but at the end of the day you can’t feel sorry for yourself. You have to stand up, be counted, stick your chest out and go again.”

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