Jewell - ‘We have to free ourselves of fear factor’

NEW Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell wants his players to free themselves of the fear factor – starting with their Championship fixture against Millwall at the Den today (kick-off 3pm).

Jewell will front the team for the first time after taking over from Roy Keane in the Portman Road hot seat, and he is looking to build on the marvellous Carling Cup display against Arsenal last Wednesday.

“It’s so important to play with confidence and belief,” said Jewell.

“To play with no fear after a poor run of form is easier said than done, but hopefully the Arsenal display will help take away the fear they have had of late.

“What went on at this club before has nothing to do with me.

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“I want my players to enjoy working every day; it’s a great job and we must look to try and improve all the while.

“When you are losing games there is always a fear factor – taking an extra touch say – and it’s hard to get out of.

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“We all suffer from a lack of confidence sometimes, and if there was a pill the inventor would become a multi-billionaire.”

Jewell says that his players have not got carried away after beating the Gunners and that they have set themselves a benchmark that he will look to continue.

Jewell, who intends to locate to within 30 miles of Ipswich, went on: “Playing under lights and in front of a 30,000 home crowd gives you energy and the players showed terrific character after their beating at Chelsea against one of the best sides in Europe.

“We must try and take this into our 20-odd remaining league games as we have a battle on our hands to move out of the lowly position we are in.”

Jewell showed his diplomatic side when asked for his reaction to Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas’ jibe that Ipswich played long balls ‘like rugby players’.

“He’s a great footballer,” said Jewell, going no further than to add that the Spaniard is entitled to his opinion.

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