Jewell - ‘We must play better when we haven’t got the ball’

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell will be doing all he can to stop his players nodding off during tomorrow’s Championship game against promotion-seeking Leeds United at Elland Road (kick-off 3pm).

He says that his team must learn to play better when they have not got the ball, a failing that contributed to their 3-1 home defeat to Reading on Tuesday.

“The performance showed why we have only drawn two games since I have been here,” said Jewell.

“When you are not doing great things with the ball – and we weren’t against Reading – then you have to learn to be better when your opponents have the ball.

“This comes over a period of time and is why we are where we are in the table.

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“There is a knack of still accruing points when you are not playing well, and it’s something that the teams at the top of the table possess.

“At times our players go to sleep.

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“Reading’s first goal came from a corner when we dropped off and the second from a free-kick that followed a throw-in.

“When we haven’t got the ball we’ve got to be a lot sharper.”

Ipswich were second best all over the park against a lively and well organised Reading outfit and the shortcomings in the current Town squad were there for all to see.

“It was no surprise to me,” said Jewell.

“I knew before Tuesday’s game that I had to keep a top hat on the optimism that was perhaps building up after our mini good run.

“We are not out of relegation trouble and have to improve in certain areas.

“The plan is to improve considerably during the summer and to bolster the current squad with a couple of loanees so that we can finish strongly this term.

“We must look to consolidate in the remaining 11 games and then put this season behind us and build for next season.”

Looking back on Tuesday’s showing, Jewell added: “In any given game you can carry one or two players who are having poor performances, but you cannot carry the whole team.

“It was very disappointing and the players know that and since I’ve been here it’s the first time that we have not turned up.”

Jewell has welcomed the loan move by young striker Ronan Murray to Torquay until the end of the season. “It will toughen him up and be of great educational value to him,” said the Town boss who lives two miles from where his team will be staying in a Yorkshire hotel tonight.

HOW do you rate Town’s chances under Jewell next season? Let us know. E-mail

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