Paul Jewell draws strength from Wigan turnaround
PAUL Jewell has been here before.
On the night ten years ago when the nation was celebrating one of England’s finest achievements of recent times, Jewell was facing one of his darkest days in football.
At the time, the then-Wigan Athletic boss was staring at the wrong end of the table with a team who were struggling to win and facing mounting questions about whether he was the right man for the job.
But within months, Jewell had steered Wigan to mid-table safety before winning the old Division Two title the very next season with 100 points.
Now he hopes to draw on those experiences – good and bad – to ride out the storm at Ipswich Town where he is facing mounting criticism for overseeing six straight defeats.
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Jewell explained: “When I was at Bradford we went up in my first year but after seven games they wanted me out.
“Then at Wigan, everyone thought we were going to win the league because we were paying decent wages.
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“I always remember England beat Germany 5-1 (in a World Cup qualifier) and we didn’t play a game that day because we had too many international players.
“We went to the bottom of the league that day. That was a pretty low point, but we finished mid-table that season and the next year we won the league with 100 points.”
Twenty-four hours after receiving a vote of confidence from owner Marcus Evans, the experienced manager remains confident he is the man to turn
Town’s fortunes around.
He insisted: “At the moment people are questioning me and I fully understand that. I’ve been here nearly a year now. It feels like we haven’t moved forward much, but I think that – over the long term – we will. I’ve got confidence in my ability and the players.”