Return of ‘calamitous’ defending cost us, admits Jewell
FRUSTRATED Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell says the return of some ‘calamitous’ defending cost his side in today’s 3-1 home defeat to struggling Nottingham Forest.
The Blues created the better chances in the first half, but mistakes from centre-backs Ivar Ingimarsson and Damien Delaney preceded two good finished from Marcus Tudgay and Garath McCleary.
They were Forest’s first goals in eight games, with the last time they had hit the net being in the 3-2 home win over Town back in November.
Ipswich pulled one back through a Grant Leadbitter penalty in the 75th minute, but three minutes later another defensive concentration lapse saw Tudgay get between Ingimarsson and Delaney to head home.
“Some of the defending that went on today was calamitous really – and it’s not the first time this season I’ve said that,” said Jewell.
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“We created a few chances first half. Daryl (Murphy) has had two real big opportunities at the back post, JET (Jay Emmanuel-Thomas) had a header and also hit the underside of the bar, so we created more opportunities than them in the first half but found ourselves 2-0 down.
“We were always susceptible to them though. Every time the ball goes in the box, for some reason, there’s blind panic.
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“From their perspective they were great finishes, but they were preventable from our point of view. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot.”
He continued: “I think we missed (Ibrahima) Sonko. He has been a big plus for us, but today he was obviously suspended.
“Some of the straight long balls that we just missed should have been meat and drink. It put us under unnecessary pressure. For some reason we were just all over the place.
“I have to take responsibility because I’m the manager, it falls on my door, but some of the individual errors from experienced players I’m struggling to explain.”
Midfielder Jimmy Bullard was a surprise absentee from the 16-man squad, with Andy Drury – recently back from a loan spell at League Two side Crawley – a surprise starter.
“Jimmy rang this morning about ten o’clock and said he’d been up all night ill,” said Jewell.
“There’s obviously been a bit of flu going around so I’ll give him a ring tomorrow to see how he is.
“And I just thought Chops was looking a bit low on confidence.
“I thought they might play with five in midfield, so I thought I would give Andy Drury a go really. I thought he did excellent Andy, he was a bright spark today.
“We’ve created probably more opportunities at home today than we have for a while.”
Asked if he thought a 4-4-1-1 system – with Drury playing off lone striuker Emmanuel-Thomas – had been too negative, he said: “I can see why people might think that, but Daryl Murphy is an attacking player, Lee Martin is a winger and Andy Drury is an attacking midfield player.
“I don’t think it was a defensive system at all. We played 4-4-2 at home against Derby and created less chances then.
“You can talk about systems all day long, but it’s about players. It wouldn’t have mattered how many forwards we’d played, they were still errors for the goals.”
Asked if he thought there was a crisis at the club, he added: “One week it’s a crisis, the next week it’s not a crisis.
“It was a poor result, of course it was, but Nottingham Forest are like ourselves – a great club who feel they should be doing better.
“In this league there is no divine right, we lost 3-1 to Nottingham Forest, we’re hugely disappointed, some of the defending was embarrassing, but it’s not as if we are the champions of Europe and Nottingham Forest are mugs.
“It’s two teams that both think they should be in the top echelons of the league.”
– For full match report and reaction, see tomorrow’s EADT and Evening Star.