‘I haven’t lost the dressing room,’ insists Paul Jewell
SUPPORTERS may have started to turn on him, but Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell believes he still has the full support of both his owner and players following a frustrating run of results.
Five defeats from six has seen the Blues boss once again come under increasing pressure, with 72 per cent of fans polled by this newspaper saying it was time for him to go earlier this week.
However, reclusive owner Marcus Evans has issued a vote of confidence via chief executive Simon Clegg, numerous fellow managers have provided kind words of support, while Jewell is confident his players are right behind him too.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s game at Barnsley – coincidentally the place where a run of seven straight defeats was halted with a memorable 5-3 comeback win last December – the Blues boss said: “‘Lost the dressing room’ and ‘tactical naivety’ are sayings in football people use, but I don’t think I have lost the dressing room.
“You sometimes know at a club when you are battling against it, but I think the players are right onside and there is a feeling we are just a victory away or even a goal away from kicking on.
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“We have had three disappointing results no doubt about that, but after we played Watford (1-0 away win) people spoke about what a great spirit we had and what a good team we had. That’s only six games ago.”
Revealing that former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp had phoned him earlier in the week to rubbish growing speculation that Evans had already lined him up as the next Blues boss, Jewell continued: ”I spoke to Marcus on Sunday and Tuesday. Those conversations will always private, but it’s fair to say he has always backed me.
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“If he was going to make a change I guess I would certainly be the first to know.”
With new �1.5m signing Paul Taylor ruled out for a minimum of six weeks with a broken foot and last season’s top goalscoer Michael Chopra also still out with a thigh strain, Jewell added: “That’s life and we have to get on with it. We have dominated games against Middlesbrough and Wolves but, because we have lost them both, our confidence has ebbed away. We have got to get that back quickly because no-one is going to help us with that, only ourselves.
“We have got to be men of iron and stand up to the challenge. If the players go out and do their best and we could get that little bit of fortune then we’ll be okay.
“If I thought the task was becoming impossible for me then I would not be sat here. I don’t think it is impossible.”