Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell would accept getting the sack – but he isn’t expecting it just yet
IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell says he would accept being sacked if his side were to lose against Derby County at Portman Road tomorrow night – but he’s not expecting it just yet.
The Blues boss admitting he was considering quitting in the wake of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Hull City – a result which leaves the Blues four points adrift of Championship safety after 11 league games and without a victory in 10 consecutive matches across all competitions.
Support from owner Marcus Evans, staff, players and other managers in the game has seen him decide to battle on though, despite speculation that Alan Curbishley is set to be sounded out as his replacement.
Reflecting on his exit from former club Derby – ironically Town’s visitors tomorrow night – he said: “I don’t want to resign. We’re in a battle at the moment and I don’t want to walk away from that. I left Derby County, people think I walked out, but I didn’t. The owners had told me if they could afford to sack me they would do and I said ‘well don’t worry about the money, if you’ve lost faith in me then I’ll go’. That’s not the case here – the owner hasn’t lost faith in me.
“I’m going to keep going. I know I can’t keep going forever without winning matches, I know that, but in the last four matches we’ve taken the lead and we could easily be sat here with 10 more points. It would have been fortuitous on Saturday, to be honest, but in the other games we could easily have won.” Asked if he thought he would be sacked if his side failed to win tomorrow, he continued: No, but I realise ever manager is a few games from the sack. Some of us just get a few more games than others.
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“If Sir Alex Ferguson – I better not say that actually because he’ll get the needle with me. If AVB (Andre Villas Boas) doesn’t win in the next 12 games then he’d be under pressure.
“If it happens to me tomorrow, or Saturday, or Wednesday then I would accept it because it’s not as if I’ve been here for two minutes, I’ve been here 20 months now. I’m disappointed in the progress we haven’t made. I’m not going to hide behind that, that’s just me being honest.
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“We’ve not been able to get any momentum going, but that’s not something that’s just happened since I’ve been here. That’s been the case for five or six years now at this club.”
Asked about the speculation that Alan Curbishley – among others – are set to be sounded as his replacement, Jewell said: “I spoke with Marcus yesterday and he wants me to stay. I’ve got a fantastic and open relationship with him. If he wants to sign another manager he would tell me – it’s as simple as that.
“Do I think he’s spoken to other managers? Having spoken to him yesterday, no. He wanted to talk to me having seen my comments and he wanted to know what I’m thinking.
“I don’t sleep at night anyway, but I definitely wouldn’t if I listened to every rumour out there. If Marcus wants to make a change he’s going to make a change.”
Asked how he’d come to the decision to fight on under increasingly pressure, the Blues boss said: “Obviously it’s been a tough time lately. I was so fed up after the (Hull) game and disappointed with our performance. I have to go and do press and sometimes you say things in the heat of the moment that probably, when you get home, you regret.
“I said what I said and I’m not going to run away from that. That’s how I felt at that moment in time, but since then I’ve spoken to Marcus at length and got a lot of support from managers and players – I had a lovely text off Lee Bowyer on Saturday night.
“I’ve spoken with the staff and players. You know when you’ve lost the dressing room and I definitely haven’t done that. Not every player in this club will want me as manager, but not every player at Man United will want Sir Alex (Ferguson) as manager. There will always be players that are unhappy.
“The majority of players have come to me and said ‘I hope you stay’ though.” Asked if he felt his public display of self-doubt could have an adverse affect on his players, he added: “Have you ever had any self-doubts? We all do because we’re human beings. If anyone says they’ve never had self-doubts or questioned themselves then they’re living in cloud cookoo land. They’re telling lies.
“Of course I’ve got self-doubts, but I look back at my record and think ‘I got Bradford promoted and kept them in the Premier League’, I took Wigan up and did well with them. I’ve done a lot of good things in my career. The times at Derby and Ipswich have been tough, I accept that, but that makes me more determined.
“I have self-doubts because I care. I care about my job greatly, I’ve got huge pride. It’s really tough at the moment, but they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
– See tomorrow’s EADT and Ipswich Star for full match preview.