Jewell’s Aussie memories

PAUL Jewell was on the other side of the world, when Ipswich Town capitulated at Carrow Road in the last East Anglian derby.

PAUL Jewell was on the other side of the world, when Ipswich Town capitulated at Carrow Road in the last East Anglian derby.

Ipswich Town boss Jewell was part of the Barmy Army in Brisbane, watching the First Test match in the Ashes Series.

However, Jewell did see the Carrow Road debacle, and Town’s 4-1 defeat, on TV, although he couldn’t possibly have imagined that he would become the new Portman Road supremo less than two months later.

“I was in Australia watching that game,” revealed Jewell.

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“It was easy from afar to see the game slipping away from Ipswich. Every mistake we made, we seemed to get punished for.

“It obviously hurt the fans, hurt the players and hurt the manager (Roy Keane) at the time. People say we owe them one, but we owe it to ourselves more than anything else.

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“Of course I never envisaged while sitting there in Australia, watching that game, that a few months later I would be the manager of Ipswich.

“I guess that’s football, although I was watching the cricket! I think I was in the barmy army somewhere,” added Jewell, who was also in Australia to do some football coaching along the Gold Coast.

Having witnessed England draw the first Test, on their way to clinching the Ashes Series, Jewell went on to play golf - with delicious irony - in Ipswich, Queensland!

Perhaps that was an omen for what was to come on January 10, with Jewell’s appointment to the Ipswich managerial hot seat as Keane’s replacement.

Jewell confirmed: “ I was out there in Brisbane for the Test match, and also played golf in a place called Ipswich, would you believe?

“Ipswich has a great golf course, but this town (Suffolk) is livelier!”

Jewell knows full well that the atmosphere will be “electric” for tonight’s game, but he will urge his players to keep a cool head in front of a capacity crowd.

“I will speak to the players about what went on at Carrow Road, and how we can avoid it this time,” explained Jewell.

“I think it’s important that the players have the passion, which will definitely be there because of the atmosphere inside the ground. That will be electric.

“But the important thing is to keep our heads, play with our heads, and make clear decisions. You must not let the occasion get to you, because in some derby games the occasion can have that effect.”

Although he understands how important tonight’s clash is for the fans, especially after the humiliating defeat at Carrow Road, Jewell is looking further ahead.

He wants Town to be where the Canaries are now - pushing for automatic promotion to the Premier League.

“I know what derby games mean to the fans, being a Liverpool supporter growing up as a kid,” continued Jewell.

“As soon as the fans get the fixture lists, the first thing they do is to look for the derby games, I’m aware of that.

“But we will still only get three points for a win. I’m planning longer term than that.

“It’s all about trying to get Ipswich in a position next season where Norwich maybe are now.”

Norwich will move back into the second automatic promotion slot, if they can complete a league double over Town, with just three matches remaining after tonight’s encounter.

However, Jewell’s men would jump into 10th spot, with a fifth win in their last six matches, leaving them a tantalising three points adrift of the play-offs.

“The play-offs are still mathematically possible, but we are all realists,” said Jewell.

“What we have achieved already this season is probably better than we could have hoped when we came in.”

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