‘Players don’t owe me, they owe the fans,’ says under-fire Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell
Don’t do it for me, do it for the fans. That’s Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell’s selfless message to his under-performing players ahead of today’s visit of Watford to Portman Road.
Reclusive Blues owner Marcus Evans, through the voice of chief executive Simon Clegg, gave Jewell the so-called ‘dreaded vote of confidence’ this week following an embarrassing 4-0 loss at Burnley.
However, fail to halt a miserable run of six straight league defeats this afternoon – possibly sinking into the relegation zone in the process – and that stance could quickly weaken.
Despite his own job being on the line though, Jewell insists the people the players owe most are the loyal supporters.
The Blues boss, who rightly called his team’s performance at Turf Moor ‘spineless’ on Tuesday, said: “The players work for Ipswich, they don’t work for Paul Jewell.
“They need to repay the supporters, not me, because they are the more important people – they are the ones that put in the miles and pay their hard-earned money.
“I have no problem with the supporters. I understand their frustrations and I’m as frustrated as them. We know it’s up to us to give them something to shout about.”
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Town’s performance was so limp in midweek that some have questioned whether Jewell has lost the dressing room, but left-back Aaron Cresswell insists that’s not the case.
“He has put faith in us and we have to repay that faith,” said the 21-year-old. “He signed 13 of us and we need to repay him and stop this run. The fans have been great and we have to repay them as well as the gaffer.”
Jewell added: “I don’t believe for one second though that the players don’t care.
“Despite what people think, we take defeats and we take our jobs very seriously. It takes over your life, there’s no doubt about that.
“It doesn’t matter what you say though, we just have to go out there and show that’s the case.”
– For full match preview, see today’s EADT and Evening Star.