Paul Jewell issues 100% challenge to Ipswich Town

HE knows winning the remaining nine matches of the season – a feat that could see Ipswich Town gatecrash the top six – is unlikely.

But that hasn’t stopped Blues boss Paul Jewell from calling on his players to go on an incredible winning run from now until the end of the season.

That starts today with bogey side Watford, but the confidence flowing through the Town ranks has led to Jewell issuing the challenge prior to the trip to Vicarage Road.

The manager said: “About a month ago, we were right in the mix down there with people fighting against relegation. We have showed character and resilience to get out of that – and quality at times.

“We have nine games left and we owe it to ourselves. The lads are excited and looking forward to games. The last thing we want is to get into an end-of-season mode.

“We want to win every game – that is the aim for every team in this division. It is highly unlikely that is going to happen. But we have to start at Watford in what will be a very difficult game.”

In a good week, which saw back-to-back home wins secured against Peterborough and Burnley, a sell-out allocation of Super Blues will be at Vicarage Road hoping to see a hat-trick of revenge missions completed.

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Watford haven’t been beaten in eight years and 14 matches but Jewell believes recent performances means his side go into the match with no fear.

He said: “The games against Peterborough and Burnley (earlier in the season) were low points. To get six points out of those two games is satisfying.

“I think it is a sign we have made progress – but it is also a sign that we still have a lot of progress to make before we get to the level where we want to be at.”

But while another three points could see Ipswich end tonight on the cusp of the top ten, with fans dreaming of a dramatic end to the season, Jewell is realistic to know how football works.

After such poor periods during a tumultuous campaign, he explained: “Football is all about ifs, buts and maybes and ‘if we had done that’ or ‘if we hadn’t have done that’. Everyone in the league have their own ‘if onlys’. “After 46 games, we will finish where we deserve to be. You can be unlucky in one given day or over a couple of weeks but the way I see it the best teams are always the luckiest and the worst teams get relegated – and they all say they were unlucky.”