Jewell wants history to repeat itself

PAUL Jewell is looking for history to repeat itself so he can once again pip Ipswich to an automatic promotion place, writes Derek Davis.His Wigan side need to get a better result against Reading than Ipswich can manage against Brighton, for Jewell to force Ipswich into the play-offs, just as he did six years ago.

PAUL Jewell is looking for history to repeat itself so he can once again pip Ipswich to an automatic promotion place, writes Derek Davis.

His Wigan side need to get a better result against Reading than Ipswich can manage against Brighton, for Jewell to force Ipswich into the play-offs, just as he did six years ago.

Back then Sunderland also finished as champions and although Town beat Sheffield United 4-1 on the final day of the season Bradford won 3-2 at Wolves and the Bantams, managed by Jewell, were promoted.

Jewell said: "When I was at Bradford City and we got up from this division, we went to Wolves on the last day needing a win. A draw wouldn't have been any good. Sometimes you are better off needing a win because it doesn't allow for any negative thoughts.


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"I always thought it would go down to the last game. But I'm glad it's so clear-cut for us.

"The first year Bradford were in the Premiership, and we beat Liverpool on the final day to stay up, it would have counted for nothing if Wimbledon had won at Southampton.

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"If we beat Reading, nothing else comes into it. I heard Stevie (Coppell) on the radio saying we had more to lose than them – I'm still trying to work that one out, because if we don't finish second we've still got a second bite of the cherry."

Jewell is convinced that Ipswich could blow it by slipping up at the inhospitable Withdean Stadium.

"They fancy the chances of Reading getting something here, but Brighton will be a very difficult place for them to go needing a win. I might not have picked it (as Ipswich's last fixture) but that's the way the cards have fallen. The Withdean Stadium isn't an easy place to get a result. Okay, we were four up in half an hour there, but that was a one-off. They beat Sunderland there, for example.

"The nature of the ground makes it hard – the atmosphere is like a pre-season game.

"On paper it's very winnable for Ipswich – they are a better team than Brighton – but football isn't played on paper. If it was we'd win the Pools every week because we'd be able to predict the scores."

Jewell, who won promotion to the Championship in 2003 with Jason De Vos as captain, is used to last day dramas.

He said: "I've been a manager for only six seasons, and four of them, counting this one, have gone to the last day. So I'm surprised I'm still as young-looking and fresh-faced as I am today. Two of those days have gone my way and one didn't, last season, when we missed out with practically the last touch of the game."

The former Liverpool player is confident his side will prove they are better than his fellow Merseysiders' Joe Royle and Steve Coppell's teams.

He said: "We can't approach the game with trepidation. We must go after a win with vigour, and the training this week has been the best all season.

"Everyone is fit and relaxed, though we all wish the game was tomorrow. We know there's a big prize at stake, but it's just a game of football.

"We've got more points than Reading, we've scored more and conceded fewer goals than them. All we have to do now is prove that we're better than them on the day."

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