Will today be the turning point for Paul Jewell?
PAUL Jewell today faces his most important 90 minutes during his ill-fated one-year tenure at Portman Road.
Defeat at home to Blackpool this afternoon might not spell the end of his tenure in the Town hotseat – especially after the encouraging words of support from owner Marcus Evans.
But it could be a different story among the long-suffering Blue Army who may well turn against the manager in their numbers if the recent run becomes a paltry two wins from 15 games.
The manager admitted as much after paying tribute to fans whose concern about the direction the club is heading in has not been translated into verbal discontent on the terraces – yet.
But a fifth straight defeat and a 14th in this depressing campaign might see fans start to voice their displeasure at the man in the dugout – even if he feels the watching Evans won’t be swayed.
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Jewell, who met with the owner at the training ground yesterday, admitted: “I’m not stupid. I hear things and I understand people’s frustrations. But it can also change if we win the game.
“I haven’t got a crystal ball and if that happens, I will have to deal with it.
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“I don’t think this owner is going to be swayed and I hope we can give the fans something to cheer about.”
In the week Jewell ‘celebrated’ his first year in charge at Portman Road, Evans broke his silence in a bid to prove he is standing by his man.
Speaking in today’s official matchday programme, the owner said: “I have spoken to Paul about my plans here, to build a team that can reach and then compete at the highest level.
“To achieve that we need stability and so long as our manager and coaching team demonstrate the knowledge and clear ability to take us forward, I see little point in restarting the project every season by switching managers.
“I have seen how much it hurts him when we lose a game. It hurts me, it hurts Simon [Clegg], it hurts the supporters, it hurts the players but it doesn’t hurt anyone more than it hurts the manager.”
Jewell vowed to do all he can to repay the faith shown in him even if he knows the club have started being contacted by out-of-work managers.
Speaking at yesterday’s press conference, he admitted: “If I got the boot tomorrow and a manager came in on Monday or Tuesday, I think that’s the right thing to do. You almost have to have a contingency plan.
“But he (Evans) has shown great faith in me and I want to repay it to him and the supporters over the coming years. I don’t want to just be here for a year.”