Paul Jewell hails ‘perfect’ problem as Town boss plots Posh demise

PAUL Jewell goes into tomorrow’s match against Peterborough with a number of selection dilemmas.

But the Ipswich boss wouldn’t have it any other way after lauding the likes of Andy Drury, Lee Martin and Tommy Smith in turning around Town’s fortunes.

Where once his biggest problem this season was stopping the rot, Jewell now has the welcome problem of whether to tinker with his team and who to name on a restrictive five-man bench.

He explained: “The spirit at the moment is there for everyone to see – from the players and the supporters. But there was a time in the season where we lost our way and the confidence was at a low ebb – and that is where people question the spirit.

“Confidence was so low but people have now stepped up to the plate, Luke Hyam, Andy Drury, Lee Martin, Jason Scotland, Tommy Smith – these people have come into the team and made it more competitive. I have got competition for places and that is the perfect situation for a manager.”

Ipswich have now lost just once in eight matches and Jewell believes his troops are showing a resilience in matches that wasn’t there for much of the season.

He said: “The good form is down to hard work and a little bit of luck at the right time. We have played well, even against Brighton we were unfortunate to lose the game 3-0.

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“We went to Southampton and showed resilience and we have to show that for the next 11 games and beyond that. “There is a belief in the squad that when we go behind, we can get back into the game. That wasn’t there at certain times of the season.

“Even when we were winning games, against Notts Forest and Reading, you could feel the anxiety in the team and it ended up costing us games.”

Jewell believes the squad has improved as the season has unfolded but he will not settle with that, adding: “We want to improve it again between now and the start of next season. That is the main aim.

“We need competition, we need young players and we have to get the balance and chemistry right between experienced players and the young, hungry ones. I will be the first to admit that we have not had that this season.”