My players do care says Paul Jewell

PAUL Jewell has leapt to the defence of his under-fire players by claiming they have been left “distraught” by their disastrous run of defeats.

Accusations have been flying around this week of bust-ups within the Ipswich camp and that Jewell’s collection of loan players and veterans have no passion for the shirt.

But the manager believes the performance, if not the result, against Watford last weekend should give fans hope ahead of tomorrow night’s televised match at Barnsley (5.20pm kick-off).

The defiant manager said: “Believe it or not, the players are distraught. They owed the performance (against Watford) to themselves as well as the supporters. It is now about getting the right result and having the hunger and desire – and I am sure my players have got it.”

Jewell has no choice but to put faith in his players as they bid to end a run of seven consecutive defeats. An eighth at Oakwell would equal Town’s second-worst run in their proud history and could spell the end of the manager’s 11-month reign at Portman Road.

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And with the pressure of the Sky cameras on him and his team, Jewell admitted many more performances like the one at Burnley in last week’s 4-0 defeat could force his hand.

He explained: “As much as I hate losing, I can take the Watford defeat as it wasn’t through a lack of trying.

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“If we’d had a repeat performance of Burnley, I would have had some serious thinking to do. When you see that (at Turf Moor), you think the players have just given up. But I didn’t see that last Saturday.”

And in keeping with the apparent harmony in the face of dire results and rumours, Jewell revealed he was inundated with messages of support from his players following the seventh straight loss.

He said: “I don’t see any dressing room unrest. I got loads of texts off the players on Sunday morning saying they hoped I was okay – which was nice.”

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