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.
While we still have a chance why give up. After that 15 minute dodgy spell on Saturday there was only going to be one winner, I was looking n thinking playing like this who could beat us!! Keep it up n u never know. If we only bet beat 3 times between now n the end of the season we should be close
I don't really mind where we finish ( obviously not in the bottom 3 ). As long as we keep this desire in the team and continue the way we are playing, if we do we may get in the play offs this year, if not we just take the momentum in to next season and may even get top 2. Even if we finish 7th but are playing like this it wouldn't matter. Massive improvement town. Well done, feels good going to portman road again.
Completely agree with PJ. As I said on another thread- although play-offs would be great, we have still as it stands lost over half of our games this season. Although Delaney/Smith have done well in recent games, I still think we are lacking at CB, whilst the goal-keeper is at best - below average.
Tha damage was done earlier in the season - when PJ relied on has beens and loans. The best run of results since 2004 (4 straight wins) is still poor compared to the worst run of results since 1994 (7 straight defeats - and that was in the PL!).
Overall, the season has still been a poor one to date. Although delighted with the current form, most grounded people will note the utter rubbish prior to this - Peterboro away, Millwall away, Southampton at home and Burnley away. Say no more. If we make the play-offs the standard of this league will have been exceptionally poor.
If we were 7th or 8th and 11 pts behind I'd say we had a chance but with ten teams to overall it's very very unlikely. We would be relying on all ten of those teams slipping up to allow us to overhaul them. If this run of four straight wins becomes eight or nine and we're then in the top ten things may look different.
Ha ha ha. I laugh at the play-offs too. We had a run of about 6 games in October and lots of folk said play-offs look good. Hard to rule it out. I guess we're eternally chasing he play-offs. We'll probably be chasing the play-offs in 30 years somehow or another.
I think we all know that the play-offs is big ask but that's what makes town supporters the best around. A top ten finish is more realistic but who knows u gotta keep the dream alive.We have 8 games in march 5 at home with only southampton and hull away looking like the tricky fixtures.3 points at albion on saturday would be start and continue this run. COYB oh yeah bobbybell 11 points is 11 points fella regardless of where we are and if we are playing and beating teams above us it's like a six pointer. just saying besides we always play well against the top teams always have even back in the gr8 eighty's days!
There was similar talk as this at the same stage last season and while we had the momentum we still had a chance. We then slipped up against Middlesbrough at home with a 3-3 draw and that was the end of the impossible dream. I suspect the same will happen this time around but while we keep winning there is a slim slim chance of reaching 75 points. If however we lose a couple of games over the next couple of weeks the momentum and the dream is gone again. At the moment I am wallowing in just looking safe.
Let's just enjoy the good football we are playing and feel relieved that we are pulling away from the relegation zone, and forget the play-offs. It's not going to happen this season, but next season I think we have a real chance. Seeing young players like of Cresswell, Smith, Hyam, Martin and Emmanuel-Thomas all playing so well does bode well for the future, and if Chopra is over his problems we potentially have the best striker in the Championship. Lots of reasons for optimism.
Agree with Mark, enjoy it while it lasts - hopefully for a long time! I really enjoyed the game on Saturday - some truely skillful football and great team effort. Of course we still have concerns, but that was so good to watch.