MANAGER’S REACTION: Paul Jewell angry at his players following 3-2 win at Doncaster
IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell slammed his players for taking their foot off the gas after they finished the season with a 3-2 win at rock-bottom Doncaster.
Tommy Smith’s header and Ryan Stevenson’s fantastic 30-yard strike had the Blues in complete control against a powder puff Doncaster side inside half an hour.
The Blues failed to kill the game off though, conceded a 34th minute goal to Fabien Robert and suddenly looked very vulnerable.
Jason Scotland won and converted a penalty in the 77th minute of a dire second half, though the Blues still found time to concede a sloppy consolation in the dying moments as Habib Beye forced the ball home following a deep free-kick.
With Town finishing 15th in the Championship table, Jewell said: “It’s nice to finish with a victory, but I wouldn’t say it was a high. At 2-0 up we were cruising, but they get back in it at 2-1 and then we have a distinctly average second half.
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“With the standards I’ve got we need to improve the squad.”
He continued: “The manner we concede goals, well, we’re just not good enough. We don’t do the simple things well enough. The problem with us is we get 2-0 up and then we don’t carry on doing the simple things that got us to that stage.
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“There are too many players who think they can flick it, people give silly fouls away, I even saw a player today (Tommy Smith) give them the ball back for a free-kick. I couldn’t believe it, I’ve never seen that before. We should win the fair play league for that.
“I’m really annoyed and angry today because at 2-0 we were playing well, we should kill them off, we don’t and then we always seem susceptible to goals.”
He added: “We were in control, looked like we were going to score every time we went forward, but we then give teams a foothold in games because we stop doing the simple things, the unglamorous things that have got us into those situations.
“Once we start thinking we’ve cracked it we’re nowhere near a good enough team.”
With 16-year-old Byron Lawrence coming off the bench in the 80th minute to become the club’s second youngest player ever (behind Connor Wickham), Jewell said: “He’s lively. You see the keeper making a save at the end, who was following in? It was Byron. We’ve been trying to get him the team for a while and today I thought I’d give him 10 minutes after the third goal.”
Jimmy Bullard also came off the bench in the second half for a rare appearance. With the midfielder still under contract for another year, and Lee Bowyer and Grant Leadbitter set to leave the club, Jewell said: “Jimmy’s had his difficulties with illnesses and other stuff, but here’s here next year. Every team is picked on its merits, no-one is in the team or out the door.
“I just think today highlighted the fact that we need four or five quality players to come into our squad.”
– For match analysis and more reaction, see Monday’s EADT.