Paul Jewell expected Ipswich Town exit after Barnsley first-half horror show
Barnsley v Ipswich: PAUL Jewell has admitted he feared for his future as he trudged off the Oakwell turf with his side 2-0 down last season.
Jewell was under huge pressure going into the Barnsley match in December after seven straight defeats.
The last thing he needed was another below-par showing with the hosts 2-0 up – and only missing out on a third after David Stockdale saved from Craig Davies following a horrendous error from Ibrahima Sonko.
We all know what happened next after a Keith Andrews-inspired Town knocked in five second half goals to give Ipswich an incredible 5-3 win and stop Marcus Evans – or indeed Jewell – from making a tough decision.
Speaking yesterday, Jewell admitted: “When you’re 2-0 down and facing eight defeats on the bounce then you do start to think it’s going to be Christmas at home.
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“We turned it around though and that’s how fickle and crazy football is. Within 10 or 20 seconds of the second half we’d got a goal and within another 20 minutes we’d got four more. Tiny margins can become huge chasms.”
On the eve of a return to Oakwell, Jewell is once again facing calls for his head, with Barnsley once again in good form – following an unbelievable win at Birmingham last Saturday following their own five-star second half showing.
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Jewell said: “They’ve had a fantastic win against Birmingham and like every team in this league they are capable of winning any match on their day.
“Saturday is another game though and we’ve got to stand up and be counted - we can’t be shrinking violets.
“We’ve just got to try and match them in all departments. It’s just the next game for us, but the longer you go without winning the harder it becomes to get that elusive victory.
“We’ve got to try and believe in our team and our strengths. We need to take our chances when they come along because we haven’t done that and that’s put added pressure on our defence.
“It’s easy to sit here and say it, but getting out there and being brave is another thing.”
In a week where he has received a vote of confidence from chief executive Simon Clegg but received abuse from a supporter in the street, Jewell, who celebrates his 48th birthday, added: “I know what football is all about. I know how fickle and, sometimes, how unfair it can be.”
* To read Paul Jewell’s thoughts immediately after the 5-3 win at Barnsley in December, click on the link at the top-right-hand side of this page.