‘Work rate was the key’, says Jewell after 5-1 thrashing of league-leaders West Ham

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell says his players’ work-rate was at the heart of their shock 5-1 win over league-leaders West Ham at Portman Road tonight.

A much-improved crowd of 22,185 (2,063 were in the away end) were treated to a display full of energy, desire and – most importantly – improved quality in both boxes from Town.

And the lacklustre Londoners saw their number of away goals conceded rocket from 11 to 16 in the space of a memorable evening as a result.

With Michael Chopra, Daryl Murphy, Lee Martin and Jayt Emmanuel-Thomas (2) doing the damage, Jewell said: “It’s nice to get a result but when you get a performance as well, it’s all the sweeter. They’re a good team, West Ham, they’ll get promoted, I’ve no doubt about that.”

Asked cheekily if he’d like to play the table-toppers every week – Town winning the reverse fixture 1-0 last September – Jewell added: “I was just thinking that but I didn’t want to say in case I sounded arrogant!

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“We started the game well, although we rode our luck from one or two set plays. I think it was a victory for hard work and determination. We worked exceptionally hard.

“Our last two games against Blackpool and Leeds, we were the same – we hunted in packs and we set about West Ham, that was the game plan.

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“We didn’t want to give them any time on the ball, we closed them down, we harried them from all over the pitch and at times played some good stuff ourselves.”

He continued: “We were 4-1 up and when the four minutes (of stoppage-time) went up the groan around the ground showed you that we’re still not safe, so it was nice for us to get a fifth goal, it was a terrific goal.

“It’s a great tonic for everybody – players, manager, staff, owner, supporters, even the guys who ask the questions every week, it’s a nice feeling.

“But we’ve had a few false dawns before this season and we know we’ve got a really tough game on Saturday (away at rock-bottom Coventry) but at least we can look forward to that game with a bit more confidence.”

Jewell had praise for midfield duo Andy Drury and Luke Hyam, while he said striker Michael Chopra’s inclusion – the striker making his first start in six games – was a last minute choice.

“It was a late decision,” said Jewell. “Sometimes as a manager you get a gut feeling, sometimes you get it wrong.

“Chops has been sharp in training for the last couple of days and I made the late decision today to play him. Jason (Scotland) was a bit unlucky, but it was a terrific first goal.”

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