Jewell: Slate Wiped Clean For Everyone
Tuesday, 11th Jan 2011 08:37
Blues boss Paul Jewell says the slate has been wiped clean for everyone at Portman Road. The new manager takes over on Thursday, incumbent coaches Ian McParland and Tony Loughlan taking charge of the team for the Carling Cup semi-final at home to Arsenal on Wednesday.
Jewell says it’s up to the players to win him over: “I’m going to give everyone a chance, I know we’ve got quite a biggish squad, although it’s top-heavy with a lot of youngsters.
“Training’s important, players can impress me at training with their attitude. Everybody makes mistakes, we all make mistakes. I want them to make honest mistakes, if they do make mistakes.”
Midfielder Alan Quinn, who has missed all the season so far with a groin injury, is the only member of the squad to have played for Jewell before, at Sheffield Wednesday, although the new Town manager was close to signing keeper Brian Murphy from Bohemians when he was at Derby.
Jewell says that the squad have nothing to fear from him: “The vast majority of the players, they don’t know me, I don’t know them. I have no preconceived ideas about any of them, no doubt they will have of me, but what they’ll find from me is someone that’s honest and straight and wants to help them improve and get them out of the situation they’re in.
“I’ve no preconceived ideas of any players here, I know every manager says that, but there is a blank piece of paper from Thursday."
He says not to read too much into Saturday's team at Millwall and hints that even the players currently on loan, Pablo Couñago, Lee Martin and Kevin Lisbie, have a chance of breaking into his plans: “I can only pick 11 players for Saturday but that doesn’t mean those that don’t play are out of the picture.
"It’s a long-term thing, I’ll have to take a view on the players who are out on loan, the loan players that we have here and the players that are here full-time. No one’s out of the door, no one’s in the door.”
Defender Gareth McAuley suggested over the weekend that one or two players might not have been too unhappy at Roy Keane’s exit, something Jewell says is inevitable with any manager at any club, however he aims to make Portman Road and Playford Road more cheerful places: “If there is disharmony, and I’m not saying there is, I want to try and bring a smile to the football club.
“My experience of Derby is maybe that I tried to change things too quickly, to change the world overnight. Maybe I’ve got to be a bit more relaxed and let people express themselves.
“I want to be fair with people and I want people to show me what they are good at. We want to stop talking about disharmony, stop talking about managers, we want to start talking about how good our team is on the pitch.”
The new manager says a happy squad is a successful squad: “If you’ve got people who are enjoying their football and the work, they’re normally doing a decent job. If we can marry the two together, enjoyment and enthusiasm, we’ve got a good start there.”
Jewell says no hard and fast decisions have yet been made on the current coaching staff with moves being made towards bringing in his own assistants. Chris Hutchings, who was sacked by Walsall last week, has been his deputy at three of his previous clubs: “It’s always a difficult time in football when this happens because people do have their own staff, but because all this has come about very quickly, I’ve only made very tentative enquiries about people that I’d like to bring with me.
“That doesn’t mean to say that anybody who is here at the moment is going to be leaving the club. That might well happen, I don’t know. We have to give respect to the staff that are here at the moment to let them take the game on Wednesday and we will make decisions and move forward from there.”
Having spent two years out of the game, the new manager says he believes football is often overcomplicated: “The thing I’ve really learnt is that you don’t re-invent the wheel. I’ve watched Milan train, I’ve watched Barcelona train expecting something different, but it doesn’t happen. It’s a simple game.
“A lot of coaches can talk and use big words, but I don’t understand what they mean. One coach was talking to me the other day about ‘recycling the ball’? What’s that? What he meant was switching the play from one side of the pitch to the other. You can dress it up and use fancy words, but it’s a simple game.”
The 46-year-old missed the Chelsea game as he was driving down to sign his contract at Hintlesham Hall and won’t be in charge on Wednesday when Arsenal visit for the Carling Cup semi-final first leg: “It might be too much disruption, I don’t know the players and their strengths and weaknesses.
“But the players won’t be judged on what happens against Chelsea or what happens against Arsenal, it’s the league games that are the bread and butter.
“I’ve got an awful lot of watching of DVDs and reading of reports. I don’t want to put too much emphasis on the Arsenal game. It’s a big game because it’s the next one, but it should really take care of itself. The league games are of paramount importance to me.”
Jewell says he isn’t going to make the mistake of setting himself unrealistic targets: “We’ve all made mistakes in the past of saying ‘I’m going to do this’ or ‘I’m going to do that’. I’ve got two-and-a-half years on my contract, hopefully I can be here a lot longer than that, but the only thing I can guarantee is that I’ll do my best. I’ve done it before, and hopefully I can do it again.”
Photo: Action Images
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