Lee Martin out to save Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell’s job – despite their early season fall out
IPSWICH Town winger Lee Martin will do everything he can to save Paul Jewell’s job – despite having been publicly humiliated by his boss just four months ago.
The 24-year-old was ordered to train with the club’s youth team players for a week following his harsh straight red card in the 7-1 defeat at Peterborough. In Jewell’s eyes, it was one avoidable disciplinary misdemeanour too many.
Martin bears no grudges though and, having made an impressive return to the starting line-up in the 2-1 defeat to Watford last weekend, is as behind his manager as anyone following a run of seven straight Championship defeats.
“I was given my punishment – and rightly so,” said the former Manchester United youngster.
“He (Jewell) did what he felt he needed to do. I could have sulked, but I got my head down and worked harder. I took the chance to work on my fitness and add some extra muscle and feel like I’ve come back fitter and stronger now.”
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He continued: “We know that if we don’t perform then the manager loses his job.
“He’s given a lot of us a chance – me included after the former manager (Roy Keane) sent me out on loan – and we owe it to him, as well as the fans, to turn it around. I think you could see that the effort was there from the boys last weekend, we’re all pulling in the same direction and I’m confident we’ll turn it around sooner rather than later.”
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It may only be December, but it’s already been a rollercoaster season for Martin. In addition to his post-Peterborough fall from grace, the winger has had a bout of tonsillitis and then suffered a freak eye injury – caused by a stone flicking up while playing a golf shot.
“I don’t want to bore people about it, but it was a worrying time,” said Martin. “There was a bit of panic when my vision was completely blurred in one eye, but luckily I’ve made a full recovery.
“I’ve just been itching to be back out there.”
And Jewell seems set to stick with the winger for tomorrow’s trip to Barnsley.
The manager said: “Lee and I have had our ups and downs, everyone knows that, but he trains very hard every day and he desperately wants to play.
“He deserves his chance. He made a mistake for the goal (against Watford) but I am not going to lambast him for that. He can get better and better and have a long run in the team – as he probably has never had that at any club he has ever been at.
“Josh Carson might think himself a little unlucky but Lee has got the shirt and this is an opportunity.
“He just needs to stop thinking he’s a hard man and get on with what he is good at. He gives us some pace.”
– For full match preview of Barnsley v Ipswich Town, see tomorrow’s EADT and Evening Star.