Paul Jewell predicting ‘spicy’ encounter at old club Derby

PAUL Jewell is anticipating a bit of “spicy” banter with the supporters of Derby County when he returns to Pride Park tomorrow.

The Town boss endured an ill-fated 13 month spell at the Rams, unable to prevent them from being relegated from the Premier League and eventually winning just a dozen of his 58 matches in charge.

Jewell reflected: “I had a bad time there as far as results there, but I enjoyed working there. We just weren’t able to turn results around.

“There is always a bit of banter and that added bit of spice with the supporters. I am sure I will get some stick but as long as it is good humoured, I will take it.

“It is not about me, it is about the team (Ipswich). I have great respect for Derby supporters and great respect for the football club.”

While he won’t be welcomed back with open arms, Jewell has nothing but good things to say about his former club.

He said: “It is a great football club, Derby, great people, great support – it is very similar to here.

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“They have great facilities, it is all geared up for top-class football. But there are about 14 clubs in this division that think the same.

“They set off like a house on fire at the start of the season before hitting a bit of a barren spell. But they have come back of late.”

While Town have no injury problems going into tomorrow’s match, Jewell hinted at changes – perhaps more likely when Leicester visit Portman Road on Monday afternoon.

As for Derby, their pre-match preparations have been hit by the news that club captain Shaun Barker has been ruled out of the whole of next season.

Barker suffered a serious knee injury against Nottingham Forest last month and now faces 18 months on the sidelines.

Former Norwich defender Jason Shackell has been installed as the new captain and will be partnered by Jake Buxton in the heart of the defence.

Derby are expected to be unchanged from the side that drew 1-1 at Bristol City with tomorrow’s match coming too soon for attackers Callum Ball (ankle) and Jamie Ward (thigh).

Defender John Brayford and striker Conor Doyle are also not expected to be included having only just returned to light training.

Nathan Tyson, linked with a move to Ipswich last summer, should start on the bench with top scorer Theo Robinson supported by Steve Davies in a slightly withdrawn role.