MANAGER’S REACTION: Paul Jewell hails his side’s staying power following comeback draw against Blackburn

Ipswich v Blackburn: IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell hailed his side’s staying power after their fully-deserved comeback draw against newly-relegated Blackburn Rovers on the opening day of the new Championship season at Portman Road.

The Blues’ vulnerability at set-pieces was once again exploited when Rovers’ striker Colin Kazim-Richards headed in from a corner in the 21st minutes.

It was the hosts who showed far more attacking intent throughout though and they were finally rewarded eight minutes’ from time when Jason Lowe turned the ball into his own net,

“I think the least we deserved was a draw, not because we were brilliant on the ball, but more because of our endeavour,” said Jewell.

“We passed the ball a bit slowly, similar to Tuesday (against Bristol Rovers) and they made it difficult for us once they got their goal by just sitting in there. You certainly couldn’t fault our lads for their effort though.

“We said at half-time that we wouldn’t be lacking for fitness. It’s a very young and athletic team we’ve got at the moment. It was very hot out there but I didn’t think we would wilt.

“I’m satisfied because we’ve got something out the game, but you’re never fully happy. We want to play better, we want to win games, but this is league as competitive as it’s ever going to be.

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“We’ve got Watford on Tuesday and that’s going to be another big test. Blackburn, as well as the other teams who have come down, will soon find out that you don’t get an easy game in the Championship.”

Reflecting on another goal conceded from a set-piece, Jewell added: “Other than going out there and doing it myself, I don’t know what more I can do. It doesn’t matter how good or bad the opposition is, if you can’t defend set-pieces it can cost you the game.

“I don’t think there was too many negatives today though. We were playing a team where I thought we would have to extend the programme to fit all their squad on it!

“They are a quality team, they made it difficult for us and they’re going to be right up there – no doubt about that.”

When asked if he thought he would have signed a new player in time for Tuesday’s game at Watford, Jewell – clearly unhappy with the performance of his right winger – quipped: “Yeah, we might have Jay Emmanuel-Thomas back! Actually, that probably won’t look good in print will it?”

Conforming that the bid he made for a player on Thursday morning – believed to be for Derby striker Steve Davies – had been rejecetd, he added: “Listen, the only time I don’t try and get new players is when the game’s on. We’ve got a small squad, everyone knows that, but I want to get the right ones to take us forward.

“We’ll have to improve as we go on because there will be injuries along the way.”