‘I don’t think players thought they could win’ - Jewell
IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell today increased his search for an out and out striker after his team were beaten 2-0 at Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers last night.
Although Ipswich competed well they deserved to be beaten by the final whistle through a 77th minute goal by Clint Hill and a second goal by Heidar Helguson six minutes later to suffer their first league defeat in seven games.
Although Rangers showed why they are favourites to gain automatic promotion in the second period, Jewell was left unhappy at his side’s failure to test home keeper Paddy Kenny and the sloppy defending that led to Hill’s goal following a corner.
Jewell said: “I don’t think the players thought that they could win last night’s game.
“That is something that we have to work on and we need to have somebody in the team who can score 20 goals a season and show a killer instinct.
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“This is what was lacking as we dominated in the first half and had plenty of possession but could not turn that into goals.
“This is why we are looking for a striker to bring in, and of course being top of the league Rangers were going to make their presence felt as the game progressed.
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“They are a physical team and we had corners and crosses and free kicks to deal with and we defended manfully.
“But then we made mistakes and paid dearly for them when the corner came across that led to the first goal.
“There should have been a head in there somewhere and our goalkeeper should have done better and it was a poor goal to concede.
“The second goal followed after their fellow dug the ball out and crossed and at that stage we were going forward looking to score.”
Town, who play at home to Portsmouth on Saturday, are in the middle of a busy run of midweek games but Jewell did not blame tiredness for his side’s falling away in the latter stages.
He added: “We were fine in the first half and played well for 45 minutes. We have got to turn those sorts of displays into a full 90 minutes before we can think about going anywhere.”
Colin Healy went off in the first half after pulling a stomach muscle and it remains to be seen how long he will be out.
Rangers’ manager Neil Warnock said: “You could see that Ipswich had had a good run and they played with confidence but at the interval we said we would come out on the front foot and we took charge.
“Ipswich have the nucleus of a good side and Paul Jewell will be looking around to get players in and follow what we have done.
“They have some good people at Portman Road and owner Marcus Evans is a good person to work for.
“But we were better than they were last night although you sometimes have to stay in there for 70-odd minutes before you get your reward.”