Fast food fury proof of Paul Jewell’s high standards
THE hot dog man at Crystal Palace should just be thankful that Roy Keane isn’t still in charge at Ipswich Town.
Picture the scene. Blues boss Paul Jewell, frustrated at his side’s inability to make the most of another dominant first half display, takes his seat to face post-match media questioning at Selhurst Park.
Two retina-burning, stand-alone lights trained on him to aid the television cameras did little to lift his mood. A clumsily-worded question about how happy he was with a mid-table finish certainly did not help matters either.
So when a worker at a fast-food outlet began making a spectacular racket with his pots and pans just a few metres away (the interview area strangely stuck on the end of a public concourse), you couldn’t blame the exasperated-looking Blues boss for muttering a few choice words under his breath and cutting short proceedings.
Had hot-headed Keane still been in the Blues hot-seat you get the feeling the aforementioned Palace employee may have left the stadium requiring his cooking utensils to be surgically removed. As it was he carried on blissfully unaware of the irritation he had caused.
The amusing incident was proof that Jewell is every bit as determined and demanding as his predecessor though, something his players will attest to.
“The gaffer said in the dressing room that the sun is out but he still wants everyone to play,” said goalscorer Jason Scotland.
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“He is telling us not to let the season fizzle out. If he sees guys slacking on the pitch he is going to pull them off straight away, but I think the team showed commitment and started from the word go.”
Midfielder Andy Drury – who has been rested twice following slight drops in performances levels of late – said: “Protecting the back four, getting forward and scoring goals – he (Jewell) wants everything I think!
“He is a demanding manager but that is good because it makes sure you keep giving 110%.”
A vast improvement defensively has seen the Blues lose just three times in 16 games. A return of 28 points from a possible 48 – almost two a game on average – is promotion form.
However, the goals have slightly dried up of late as Town have not taken full advantage of dominant spells in matches.
“We’ve scored a lot of goals this year, but for the last five or six games we’ve struggled,” said hard task-master Jewell. “We’ve had lots of possession but not made it count.
“There were some quality balls going across the box today and someone like (Alan) Shearer would have had a hat-trick. My players need to prove how much they really want to score a goal. Sometimes you’ve got to be prepared to get a cut eye.
“I’m not going to be too critical of my players though because we were terrific at times.”