Jewell dampens down play-off hopes

UNLIKE one of his predecessors Joe Royle, current Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell is a fan of the play-off system.

But he admitted today that realistically ending this season in the Championship top six is a big ask.

“I’m a positive person and I like the play-offs as they add so much to the season,” said Jewell.

“A month ago when we lost at Millwall we were staring down a barrel.

“My remit when I took over last month was to keep in the Championship.

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“So we’re not getting carried away and realistically the play-offs are some way off.

“There is a buzz around the place these days and you like to have a vibrant scene at the club with plenty of channelled noise and aggression.

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“But we know we cannot take our eye off the ball.

“The Championship is like a handicap horse race – all the teams could finish the season in a heap on the line.”

Jewell has to find a replacement for midfielder Jimmy Bullard and the manager says that he will be missed.

“Jimmy has been impressive on the pitch and around the place,” added Jewell.

“He is bubbly and lively and has been a great signing for us as I knew he would be.

“We will miss him, but it gives someone else an opportunity to show what they can do. And Colin Healy was terrific at Doncaster.”

Jewell has confirmed he has had talks with Aston Villa about bringing in 33-year-old defender Habib Beye on loan. But it doesn’t look as though it will happen.

“We finished well against Doncaster but that is behind us now,” Jewell. “Hull are in good form and will be very tough opposition.

“Someone like Beye would increase our options and bolster what we’ve got.”

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