Jewell: Four or Five Offers But Town Was the Right One
Tuesday, 11th Jan 2011 11:54
New boss Paul Jewell says he has been offered four or five jobs since leaving Derby County in December 2008 but none of them took his fancy until he received last week’s phone call from Town owner Marcus Evans.
Jewell said: “I’ve been offered four or five positions in football but they didn’t seem right for me. I was flattered by all of them, but the one that stuck out was this one and I’m ready for it.
“I was quite enjoying taking time out reflecting on the things I’d done, both good and bad. That time has not been misused, I’ve been working in the media, watching training at different teams and thinking that it’s not rocket science, you just have to have really good players - it’s a simple game. I always hoped that I’d get another chance and Ipswich is a great opportunity for me.”
The 46-year-old says he was taking nothing for granted when he held meetings with Evans and chief executive Simon Clegg on Friday and over the weekend: “I think there were a few people in the frame. When I met the owner I just said it as I saw it. I met Simon late afternoon on Friday and again on Saturday, and things happened very quickly.
“I was aware that Ipswich were speaking to other managers, I knew that I wasn’t the only one in the frame. I thought that all I’ve got to do is be myself and tell them how I see it and if they like what they hear and I like what I hear from them, then maybe they’ll pick me and luckily enough they did.”
The new boss is yet to talk to one of Town’s old bosses, Joe Royle, someone he has a lot of time for, while a couple of his other friends have played for the Blues: “I know Joe well. Every time we beat Joe we were always lucky! I don’t think he’s ever said to me ‘Well done’! He’s a proper football man Joe.
“He had great things to say about Ipswich when he was a manager here. There are not many better places to be successful than here.
“I know a lot of people who have played here, Eddie Youds is a mate of mine, a larger than life character. David Lowe, I played with and had on my coaching staff at Wigan and Derby. I’ve got an awful lot of people I know who have been involved at Ipswich who I will be calling.”
Jewell, who has been promised money to spend but doesn't appear to be in a rush to spend it, is realistic about Town’s task this season: “I don’t want to be negative, but I think it’s about building. I was looking at some figures last night and to get sixth in the league you’ve needed something 74 points. We’re 46 points behind that, so that’s a lot of points out of not too many games.
“I think as long as we see progress and we consolidate [I’ll be happy], although you never know what happens. I remember Iain Dowie taking over at Crystal Palace and they went on an unbelievable run and got in the play-offs, but those things happen very rarely.
“I think it’s important that we consolidate, we build confidence and we have a vision to go forward for the rest of my contract, and hopefully beyond that.”
Like George Burley before him, the new manager believes it’s important to develop a side over time: “My contract is for two and a half years, looking to improve steadily. We all want to be in the Premier League. But if you go into the Premier League and you’re not ready for it, it’ll eat you alive, I’ve experienced that.
“Everyone’s impatient in football, but my experience in football, with the success we’ve had, is that if you gain momentum and develop things slowly, then you become a strong core rather than all of a sudden being cast into something that really you’re not quite ready for.
“This club - the facilities, the fanbase and history-wise - ticks a lot of boxes and has a lot of advantages over other clubs.”
Asked about his style of football, Jewell says the first battle is to get the players confident enough to play to the best of their abilities: “The brand of football that everyone loves is winning football. Everyone talks about style and everything else and people get labelled as long ball.
“I saw Chelsea play Stoke last season and score in the last minute from a long throw. When I read in the paper it didn’t say ‘Chelsea’s long throw’.
“There’s a time and a place. We all want to play good football, but I think the problem for Ipswich this season and for teams who are losing games is confidence.
“Chelsea, I know they won on Sunday, but they haven’t been playing with great confidence. If we can get the players confident and doing what they’re good at, I’m sure we’ll see them express themselves more.
“It’s not about style of football,” he continued. “When teams are losing matches, people don’t want to get on the ball, they’re frightened of making mistakes and that’s the same whether you’re playing in the Premier League or the Northern Premier League. That’ll be the objective - try and get the players confident and doing what they’re good at.”
After a couple of years away, Jewell can’t wait to get back into the fray on Thursday: “For the last month or so I’ve started to get itchy feet, I’ve started thinking about getting back into the game and applying for jobs.
“I’m ready to come back now, I’ve got a lot of people to prove wrong, I’ve got a lot to prove to myself and I’m hungry and committed.”
Photo: Action Images
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