Jewell throws down gauntlet
PAUL Jewell has thrown down the gauntlet to Ipswich Town after his Wigan side reclaimed second spot, writes Derek Davis.The Blues go to Wolves tonight needing just a draw for them to move back ahead of the Latics, whose 2-0 win at Cardiff saw them leapfrog Ipswich on goal-difference over the weekend.
PAUL Jewell has thrown down the gauntlet to Ipswich Town after his Wigan side reclaimed second spot, writes Derek Davis.
The Blues go to Wolves tonight needing just a draw for them to move back ahead of the Latics, whose 2-0 win at Cardiff saw them leapfrog Ipswich on goal-difference over the weekend.
Jason Roberts and former Town loanee Alan Mahon helped the Royals to bounce back from their midweek defeat by the leaders Sunderland, which followed a defeat by West Ham at the JJB Stadium.
Jewell said: “Beating Cardiff was a great result for us because the last two games have gone against us at home.
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“Ipswich have got to go to Wolves now and get a result, so this is a big psychological and moral boost to us - the pressure is now back on them.
“To come to Cardiff and not play free-flowing football but still get the result is a big boost to us - but you're not going to get good games at this stage of the season.
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“We are fighting for our lives, Cardiff are fighting for their lives and there is so much at stake that it's just not conducive to good football.”
Blues boss Joe Royle fully expected Town to slip a spot and is not too concerned ahead of their visit to Molineux tonight.
He continued with the current Town mantra by saying: “I expected us to be down to third before the Wolves game. But we know with five games left that if we win them all we are in the Premiership.
“We are in control of our destiny and it is certainly a situation that we would have settled for at the start of the season.”
Although a draw is the expected outcome tonight, a win would put Town within two points of Sunderland, who they play on Sunday, so they could effectively overhaul them too.
Black Cats boss Mick McCarthy refused to push the panic button after his side's surge towards the title was derailed by Reading, who came from behind to win 2-1 thanks to a Dave Kitson brace.
McCarthy said: “We still have a punishing schedule and it's not all over. We are still in the best position, I am still determined and this is only one result that has gone against us.
“We should have got something out of the game, but we didn't and it's time to move on. Nobody can go away and say we took our eye off the ball or our foot off the pedal.”
While Town and Sunderland meet on Sunday, Wigan will be at Leicester City on the Saturday.