SEASON REVIEW: Frustrated Paul Jewell reflects on player positives
The 2011/12 campaign will be remembered with frustration by most fans.
And it is an emotion that will be shared by manager Paul Jewell in his first full season at Portman Road.
Reflecting on a campaign full of contrasting memories, the Town boss said: “There have been a lot of disappointments, a lot of good performances – frustrating is the word I would use.
“In the last 19 or 20 games, I think we have lost four matches so we have shown in the second half of the season that we can be decent. But in a lot of the first half, we showed we have been a soft touch.”
Jewell reiterated that he had got things wrong over the last nine months, but that supporters should not forget the positives from a topsy-turvy campaign.
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He explained: “The balance between experience and youth has not been quite right at times. We have been searching for formulas. We thought we had hit one with the diamond, which we did, but when we had to have a Plan B it took us a while to get over that.
“It has been disappointing in a lot of aspects but look at the pluses – no one had heard of Aaron Cresswell this time last year, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas has come on, Andy Drury has come to the fore, Tommy Smith has played a lot of games, Lee Martin has been a plus for us.
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“There have been a lot of pluses but over the course of the season, a lot of negatives as well.”
While defensive deficiencies and indeed goals galore at both ends will be themes of the last nine months, the 2011/12 campaign will also be remembered for off-the-pitch problems.
Jewell said: “One or two players have had one or two difficulties off-the-pitch, and they have been our key players.
“It has been tough. We have had issues on and off-the-pitch, but nothing is easy in life. I have had great support from the owner and the supporters in general and I really appreciate both of them. In the long-term, I hope to be part of a team that takes us where we want to be.”