Marcus Evans has discussed a five-year plan with Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell
MARCUS Evans does have a five-year plan – and it includes manager Paul Jewell.
Town’s multi-millionaire owner continues to insist on staying out of the public limelight, requesting that no pictures of him are published, while leaving interviews to chief executive Simon Clegg.
However, following nearly a decade’s stagnation in the Championship, many frustrated supporters have begun to crave a rousing plan for the future direct from the mouth of their key investor.
That doesn’t look set to happen any time soon, but giving a rare insight this week, Jewell revealed: “I think Marcus Evans is brilliant. A lot of people come into this game for the ego and the notoriety – he certainly hasn’t done that.
“He has put his money where his mouth is and has been supportive of me. He thinks about what I am trying to do long-term during a time in football when no-one looks long term.
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“He talks to me about five years’ time when most managers don’t get five minutes. That gives me the confidence to make decisions.”
Having recently passed his fourth year in charge, Evans has already sacked two managers at the club – Jim Magilton and Roy Keane.
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However, Jewell, who has overseen a poor first half of the season considering the investment put into his side, says Evans has given him confidence that he can turn things around.
“I remember when I was at Wigan under Dave Whelan in League One,” said the Blues boss. “Everyone expected us to win the league, but we were bottom in November and lost 5-1 to Wrexham in the ‘Broken Windscreens’ (Auto Windscreens) Shield.
“He (Whelan) said he would have a word with the players and I didn’t know what was coming, but he sat them down and said, ‘the boss is staying – anyone who doesn’t like that can leave their boots there and go’.
“I thanked him afterwards. He just said, ‘Make sure you stay up this year’, before adding, ‘and next year I want to be in the top six by Christmas, otherwise you won’t be here’.
“By Christmas the following year, we were 10 points clear. He’d given me the confidence to make decisions, to take a little bit of flak, a bit of punishment and make long-term decisions.
“I’m hopeful that is what can happen here.”