Still a long way to go, warns Jewell

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell has today warned there is still ‘a long way to go’ before his side can be considered promotion contenders.

Michael Chopra’s explosive start to life at Portman Road and the transfer coup of Lee Bowyer has got Blues fans dreaming of a return to the Premier League at the 10th time of asking.

Jewell, heading into his first full campaign as Blues boss, is as ambitious as anyone. However, the wiley Liverpudlian – who has experienced a full range of footballing emotions during his career – insists his squad still needs significant strengthening if they are to make up the 13 points that separated them from the play-offs last season.

“Of course I’m optimistic about the season but I’ve been in the game a long time and I’m also realistic,” said Jewell, ahead of what is predicted to be one of the most competitive Championship seasons in many a year.

“You don’t get success overnight in football. It takes time. This club has finished well outside the top six in what – five of the last six years?

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“Last year we were still in a relegation battle until the final few games of the season. We’re coming from a long way back when you look at how far we were adrift of the top six places last season. Look at the points we

have to make up.

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“Okay, people might point to what Norwich achieved in coming up from League One and winning promotion – and there’s no doubt that was a terrific achievement – but they carried over the momentum of winning games from the year before. Momentum and confidence is everything in football.

“Leeds were the same last year. Leicester finished in the play-offs the year before after coming up.

“That is what we’ve got to create. The momentum of winning football matches.

“If I’m honest, we are some way from that at the moment but as I said from the first day I came here, it’s a building process.

“I’m looking forward to the new season, just as the players and the supporters are and if we can get the extra three or four players in that we need, then we will be competitive.

“I think the signings we have made have given everyone a lift. I’m hopeful that we will have another three or four to follow and that will help take us onto the next stage, but we know there is a long, hard battle ahead. Make no mistake about that. We’re still a long way from where we want to be.”

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