Paul Jewell needs some leadership from his players, says ex-skipper Jason De Vos
IPSWICH Town fans should be calling for some leadership from their players – not manager Paul Jewell’s head.
That’s the opinion of ex-Blues skipper Jason De Vos, who believes his former Wigan boss can only turn things around at Portman Road if the bigger characters in the dressing room start helping him shoulder some responsibilities.
“It’s been frustrating following Ipswich’s struggle from afar and I have to say it doesn’t align with my experiences of working with Paul and Chris (Hutchings) at Wigan),” said the 38-year-old, who is now working as a television pundit back in his native Canada.
“Paul was someone who always got the best out of his players at Wigan and I always had a good working relationship with him. I do think there comes a point where there’s only so much a manager can do and they need their players to take on some of the pressure on their shoulders.”
With the Blues having lost four of their last five games, De Vos – who passionately led the Blues from central defence for four seasons – continued: “A lot of teams struggle with leadership within the dressing room.
“We had a fantastic group of players during my time at the club. Jim Magilton was a real leader when I signed and I tried to take that responsibility on when he became manager. We had players like Kevin Horlock, Richard Naylor, Fabian Wilnis, Sylvain Legwinski and Alan Lee too.
“At every club I had success at, there were four or five guys really setting the tone. Those leaders in the dressing room become an extension of the manager. It’s them who reinforce what is acceptable and what is not acceptable on and off the field. “The manager needs his lieutenants on the field – people who are genuinely stung by the pain of defeat and people who demand a reaction from their team mates.
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“It’s not about pointing fingers, it’s about creating that togetherness for the cause. Young players can be leaders as well – it’s just about having something in your personality that makes you want to shoulder some responsibility.
“I know it’s frustrating for the fans at the moment, but they don’t see what happens on a day-to-day basis at the club. It’s the little things that make the difference.”