My contract is the ‘least important’ this summer – Paul Jewell
PAUL Jewell has described his own contract negotiations with Ipswich Town as the “least important” as he embarks on a summer of rebuilding that will determine his future.
The Blues boss enters the final year of his current deal with supporters still divided over whether he is the right man to return the good times to Portman Road.
His supporters point to improved performances during the second half of the season with, at times, Town proving they are a match for any team in the Championship.
But critics claim there has been little progress made, pointing to the club’s 15th-place position and the fact they are now the longest-serving side in the Championship.
Jewell, who signed a two-and-a-half deal when Roy Keane left in January 2011, has revealed that he has not once discussed an extended contract with owner Marcus Evans and that all his efforts this summer will be spent on recruiting new players rather than worrying about his own future.
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The manager said: “Life is all about opinions. The worst thing that could happen to me is that I get sacked and I would be gutted.
“I want to be here for a long time and the support I have had from Marcus Evans and the majority of fans has been excellent – and I appreciate it.
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“I want to give something back by bringing success eventually. But the least important contract on my mind is my contract. We just need to make sure we get the right players in the close season.
“I am happy with the situation. If the owner wants me to sign a new contract, I will sign one.”
Jewell, pictured right, is fully aware his side under-performed last season and that fans will be looking for his team to hit the ground running when the 2012/13 campaign gets under way in August.
But the fact that the Town boss will be in the last year of his contract will not increase the pressure, according to Jewell.
He added: “I won’t work any harder – because I can’t, it’s impossible. I know it is a year to go, but it wouldn’t have taken a lot of money to get rid of me last year – so it won’t be a money issue. And if I felt it was the right thing to do, I would walk away for free.
“I just hope I am here for a long time and I can bring success. I love working here, I love the area. It ticks all the boxes but the one at the top of the list is getting the team right.”