Jewell - I will ensure that this season does not just fizzle out

PAUL Jewell today reassured Ipswich Town supporters that there will be no letting up this season by his mid-table Blues side.

Manager Jewell leads his team into npower Championship action against Reading at Portman Road tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) insisting that he will not allow the campaign to fizzle out.

Relegation may have been virtually avoided and the play-offs may be a long way off, but there will be no easing off.

“If I sense any of my players is going on holiday early he will have a longer holiday than he thinks,” said Jewell.

“The season will not be allowed to fizzle out.

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“Our fans pay good money to watch us and we owe it to them as much as to ourselves to keep going at full pelt.”

Jewell knows the score and that a move up the table into the top 10 is the most realistic target between now and early May, but he says there is still a great deal to play for.

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He explained: “Our efforts will remain unstinting.

“We will be after three points tonight and will be trying to give a performance.

“Whether we have a strong or a weak finish will have a big effect on the start of next season and a good finish will give us a boost to go with the players we hope to bring in during the summer.

“If there is no promotion or avoiding relegation to play for the future of the players is certainly at stake.

“We have a great deal of work to do to prepare for next season and although not a great advocate of making unnecessary team changes there might be some fringe players to look at as we get nearer to the final game.”

Jewell says that the nature of professional football these days means that end of season games are no longer a factor.

“Joe Royle is not a lover of the play-off system,” said Jewell.

“And I can see that if you finish third and lose out to a side that finished 20 points behind you in sixth place is not nice.

“But they are the rules that you go into the season with and it can keep everything alive until almost the end.

“If we win our next eight games we will be seriously back in the frame.

“But if we don’t there will be no easing off.”

Tonight will be Jewell’s first home evening game since taking over from Roy Keane and he’s looking to make it a memorable one with the atmosphere under floodlights at Portman Road normally a notch or two higher than Saturday afternoons.

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