Jewell Laughs Off Play-Off Questions
Monday, 20th Feb 2012 08:42
Town boss Paul Jewell wasn’t getting carried away after the Blues recorded their fourth win in a row by beating Cardiff 3-0 on Saturday, despite receiving the inevitable questions about the play-offs at the post-match press conference. The weekend win saw Town into 16th in the division, 11 points behind Birmingham in sixth.
Asked about Town’s chances of making the play-offs given their recent form, Jewell laughed: “I was waiting for that! Ten minutes it’s taken for someone to ask about the play-offs!
“We’ve been in a relegation fight for a long time, since December when we lost seven games in a row.
“We’re trying to put as much daylight between ourselves and the bottom of the league and take every game on its own merits. The only thing on our minds now is trying to get a result at Brighton.”
The Town manager knows that his side have gifted opposition teams points all too frequently this season but says there’s nothing that can be done about that now: “There’s no point in looking back. It doesn’t matter, it’s happened and we have to learn from the good experiences and the bad experiences, try to keep our feet on the ground and try and see games out.
“We’ve had periods in games this year where we’ve come under the cosh and conceded. But in the last four games, when we’ve come under the cosh, we’ve actually got stronger and there’s a lot more desire in our team at the minute, and that’s down to confidence.”
Jewell was delighted for Michael Chopra, who scored his 12th goal of the campaign, his fifth in four games and his second of the season against his former club: “He’s had a stuttering start to his career here for one reason or another but he’s starting to get the sparkle back in his game and it was pleasing to see him score a goal and his industry and his workrate is good.
“He’s got 12 goals for us, which is a decent return for someone who hasn’t played an awful lot of games this year and probably hasn’t played to his best, but he’s starting to get there now.”
In addition to being pleased with the spirit in his squad, Jewell also cited the importance of the club’s fans: “I think it's there for everyone to see.
“I think the supporters deserve a lot of credit for that because we’ve put in some abject performances at home especially, and they never turned on the team.
“They stuck with us and you can feel the atmosphere coming back at Portman Road where the fans are excited and appreciate the efforts of the players.
“But I’ve got to tell you, the players and the staff appreciate the effort of the supporters every bit as much because they’ve got us through a really, really difficult time.”
Jewell admits that there are good signs for the future in the current youthful side but was at pains to point out that there’s still a lot of work to do: “We’ve got more youth in the team at the moment but it’s important we just keep our feet on the floor.
“We look to improve all the time, we’ve started building for next season already, we’ve not given up on this season, but we’re not getting complacent either, thinking that everything’s hunky dory.
“There’s lots to be improved on but I have to say the players deserve a lot of credit because they’ve come through a really tough time.”
Elsewhere, former Blues boss Roy Keane has been linked with the Wolves manager's job which was until recently his old sparring partner Mick McCarthy's.
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