POLL: We can be successful next season without a top-six finish – Paul Jewell

PAUL Jewell has risked the wrath of Town fans after admitting success next season does not mean a top-six finish.

Ipswich started this season as a dark horse for promotion after securing big-name and experienced players like Michael Chopra, Lee Bowyer and Ivar Ingimarsson.

But Jewell’s gamble to secure promotion in his first full season at the club spectacularly failed with the Blues ending their season this Saturday in the midst of mid-table mediocrity.

Now the manager has looked to play down expectations by suggesting that progress next year may not be shown by a simple league finish.

He explained: “I hope next season is successful. But successful might not be measured in getting promotion. It might be that we just finish outside (the top six) but have a really good squad, a really good team, and we lack just those two or three players to make the push.”

Jewell’s comments suggest he views next season as another building exercise although Town have shown, at times, this season they can live with the best in the Championship.

But some heavy defeats, a dire defensive record generally, and some inept performances suggests the manager will look to recruit at least half a new team – through mostly bargain buys and free agents.