Jewell pleased that he has time on his side
IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell is settling into the Portman Road hot seat today pleased that he will be given time to prove himself.
The 46-year-old has taken over from Roy Keane on the back of a 7-0 FA Cup thrashing at Chelsea and 19th in the Championship table.
He will not take charge of team affairs for tomorrow’s Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal at Portman Road, intending instead to sit in the stand.
He stressed that staying in the Championship is the main objective this season, and added: “What appealed to me about the Ipswich job and helped to tick all the boxes was that there is no quick fix required of me.
“It is going to be a long term objective to get where we want – the Premier League.
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“When I took over at Derby County I tried to change things too quickly and this time I plan to be more relaxed.
“What I’ve learned is that you have to be patient and slowly but surely gain momentum and build yourself strong enough to handle the Premier League.
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“If you don’t they will eat you alive in the top flight.”
Jewell makes no secret of his goal to take Ipswich back into the Premier League in his two and half year contract.
“It would be nice to do enough to stay beyond that,” added Jewell, who virtually ruled out anything other than a fight to ensure the club does not slip into serious relegation trouble this term.
“We must look to make progress and consolidate as well as lifting the players’ confidence.
“I’m not being negative but we would need around 42 more points to get into the play-offs and it is only rarely that a second half of the season move of that nature has been achieved.
“But with the facilities, the fan base and the club’s history everything is there to go forward. Ipswich is a great opportunity for me.”
Although betting on Jewell to replace Keane was suspended on Thursday, he was not told of Ipswich’s interest until then.
“I received a call from owner Marcus Evans on Thursday evening and went over to Ireland to see him on Friday,” said Jewell.
“On Friday and Saturday I had more talks with the owner and with chief executive Simon Clegg and on Sunday I travelled to Suffolk listening to the Chelsea game on the car radio.
“It was Sunday night after a meal with Simon when the deal was completed.
“I can assure all Ipswich fans that the owner is ambitious having invested his time, energy and money into the club.
“They may not have seen him but I can confirm to them that he is 100 % per cent committed.
“And with one man in charge there will be no boardroom squabbles and I like the stability this brings to a club.”